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COLLAPSING FISHERIES – From Chapter 5. Natural Systems Under Stress
Lester R. Brown, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble

After World War II, accelerating population growth and steadily rising incomes drove the demand for seafood upward at a record pace. At the same time, advances in fishing technologies, including huge refrigerated processing ships that enabled trawlers to exploit distant oceans, enabled fishers to respond to the growing world demand.

In response, the oceanic fish catch climbed from 19 million tons in 1950 to its historic high of 93 million tons in 1997. This fivefold growth—more than double that of population during this period—raised the wild seafood supply per person worldwide from 7 kilograms in 1950 to a peak of 17 kilograms in 1988. Since then, it has fallen to 14 kilograms.

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