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Egyptian fisheries need urgent action to combat effects of overexploitation and climate change

The Mediterranean contains 4–18% of the known marine species in the world but poorly regulated overfishing has disrupted the integrity of habitat.
21.02.24 | Source: nature asia

Drastic changes in the diversity of the species found in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast are a result of overexploitation of its fisheries, according to a recent study (M. Khalfallah et al. Ocean Coast. Manage. 245, 106831; 2023). 

The authors argue that better management is required to combat overexploitation of fish stocks and ensure the health of marine life in the Mediterranean.

The research team from the Sea Around Us initiative at the Canadian University of British Columbia and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt reconstructed catch data from Egypt’s marine fisheries in the Mediterranean from 1920 to 2019. They compared this with data reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which started publishing annual fisheries statistics in 1950.

The Mediterranean is an important area of biodiversity and contains 4–18% of the known marine species in the world despite it making up about 0.8% of its oceans. Egypt has 1,000 kilometres of the Mediterranean coastline, stretching from the Palestinian border in the east to the Libyan border in the west.