Tyrrhenian coast, Italy (photos: Studer/fair-fish)

Water: the origin of life

Oceans, rivers and lakes cover more than three quarters of the earth's surface. Waters are the most important habitat of all - but it is endangered by numerous human interventions.  This affects not only aquatic life, but ultimately ourselves.

Fortunately, many organisations are working to protect water bodies. This allows fair-fish to focus on specific problems.

Fishing affects aquatic life because it targets certain species. It interferes with the complex food chain that has been established over thousands of years. If overfishing continues, it can even lead to the overturning of the food web. This is the case, for example, on the Canadian Atlantic coast, where the once abundant cod stocks have been so decimated that today their former prey, young lobsters, now grown up feed on young cod.  However, the quality of a body of water depends not least on the functioning of the food web.
Depending on the type of fishing, waters are also polluted by lost gear, especially nets that continue for years as "ghost nets" to catch countless animals which die in agony.

Depending on the system, fish farms pollute their environment with sewage, feed waste, faeces or residues of medicines. Farmed fish escaping from net cages also alter the gene pool of wild conspecifics and can transmit diseases to them.
Facilities that are closed to the environment can avoid such consequences, but the price is paid by the fish kept in a completely artificial habitat.


Inland water protection

In Switzerland, fair-fish has campaigned for the protection of domestic waters from pollution by agricultural fertilisers and pesticides and microplastics from households.
Detailed information on these two problem areas can be found in the issues 24 and 25 of our magazine fish-facts (in German).


Husemer lake near Ossingen, Switzerland