According to the nature conservation organization WWF, the living conditions of fish in the North and Baltic Seas are poor. “The past five years have been the worst years in history for Baltic herring. It will take a long time to recover. And the cod stock in the western Baltic Sea has collapsed completely in recent years,” says WWF fisheries expert Karoline Schacht. Reasons for this include overfishing and the increasing effects of the climate crisis. The WWF did not give specific figures on the stocks.

In view of the poor state of the fish stocks, the organization called for the establishment of large, long-term protected areas without commercial use and better controls on catches at sea. Then more fish from the North Sea and Baltic Sea could be on the German menu again in the future.

Healthy seas as a prerequisite

“Fish from domestic production is now a rarity,” continued Schacht. Around 80 percent of the most popular fish and seafood in Germany, such as Alaska pollock, tuna or shrimp, are imported and end up with consumers mainly as canned or frozen goods.

“If we want to continue eating local wild fish, we urgently need to improve its living conditions. Healthy fish stocks only exist in healthy seas, they are inextricably linked.” August 22 is Fish Day.

According to the Fish Information Center, private households in Germany bought 434,413 tons of fish and seafood last year and spent 4.9 billion euros on them. The Germans’ favorite fish is Alaska pollock, followed by salmon, tuna, herring and shrimp.