Chilean Sea Bass are not yet classified as “endangered”, yet they are severely overfished and are considered a species to “avoid”.
Chilean Sea Bass are not truly considered an endangered species, but the way in which they are fished is considered unsustainable and puts the population in jeopardy. It is recommended that people avoid eating Chilean Sea Bass because of the unsustainable fishing. It was very popular in the mid 1990s and was heavily overfished. This fish is very slow to mature and aggregates while spawning which makes them susceptible to bottom trawlers. The distinction overfished means that if fishing practices are not changed, the species will soon be endangered.
Chilean Sea Bass are currently listed as “avoid.” Although not endangered, this warning signifies that they very well could move up the list if we are not careful. The Chilean Sea Bass is extremely vulnerable to overfishing, as they grow slow and reproduce when they are older, meaning they do not replenish their populations very quickly. In addition to the threat to their numbers, many of the fishing practices are harmful to the environment. The fishing gear often causes damage to the ocean floor, kills albatross, which are endangered, and many of the boats are illegal and their practices difficult to monitor. “Avoid” now seem like a pretty good recommendation!
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