Some fish stocks in international waters are beingharvested to the point of extinction,a report from the World Wildlife Fund warned Friday.
The report, co-written with the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, blames governments around the world for failing to prevent overfishing.
It says regional organizations that regulate fishing in international waters are powerless to control countries who ignore their regulations.
"In the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, for example, some dissatisfied members have ignored quotas and unilaterally set their own," the WWF said in a statement Friday.
It said a number of countries regularly exceed their quotas for bluefin tuna, and that the deep sea population of orange roughy has collapsed.
The report wasreleased ahead of a United Nations meeting on fish stocks that's scheduled for nextweek in New York. Itlays part of the blame on an expansion of deep-water bottom trawling.
It alsoidentifies illegal fishing by "highly mobile fleets under the control of multinational companies" as another leading threat.
Regional management organizations "must immediately implement their conservation and management measures if theyâre to prevent empty oceans, empty plates and lost livelihoods in the future," it said.
Countries such as Canada, Britain and Australia should lead by example and put pressure on other countries to follow the rules, the report suggests .