Fishing Industry Kills and Throws Away 20 Billion Pounds of Fish a Year

Fishing Industry Kills and Throws Away 20 Billion Pounds of Fish a Year
Killing fish for food wreaks environmental havoc and causes immense suffering, but did you know that about 20 billion fish caught in the course of food production each year don’t ever make it to your plate?

A recent article by The National Journal estimates that about 20 percent of all fish caught by commercial fisheries is “by-catch,” or unwanted fish, swept up in massive trawling nets along with the targeted species. This not only results in the tragic annual loss of billions of lives, each and every one priceless, it translates into approximately $1 billion thrown overboard each year.

Besides being economically unsustainable, the enormous scale of the fishing industry is environmentally detrimental to all ocean life, as it disrupts fragile marine ecosystems in addition to depopulating fish species.

According to the article, “many fisheries toss out more than they keep. This makes it tougher for fish populations to rebound, and so they steadily decline as fishing keeps up.” Unfortunately, consumer demand for fish requires the fishing industry to employ these drastic trawling practices, and the only way to truly reduce our impact on marine animals is to reduce our consumption of fish.

Thankfully, the change is easy and delicious! To see how fun and doable meatless eating can be, visit for recipes, tips, and tricks!