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Reeling in China's 'Trash Fish' Problem

Over the past 50 years, overfishing has caused China’s domestic catch to shift from a focus on high-value, mature fish to catching massive numbers of low-value fish. The smallest and most juvenile of these are often referred to as ‘trash fish,’ as they’re too small for human consumption — and they account for nearly a third of China’s total catch, according to a recent Greenpeace report. But because there is also a growing industry of turning trash fish into feed for fish and livestock, solving China's 'trash fish' challenge isn’t so simple.

In this episode, we talk with Zhou Wei and Yang Yi, Ocean Campaigners at Greenpeace East Asia and two of the main authors of Greenpeace’s trash fish report. We explore what exactly 'trash fish' means, how overfishing of China’s domestic fisheries resources has played a role in causing the current trash fish problem, and some of the solutions that Greenpeace recommends to ameliorate this, er, 'fishy' problem.

Listeners can access the report and press release on Greenpeace’s website here, or view this short explainer video to get an overview of the report’s content. And if you’re interested in checking out the sustainable seafood guide mentioned in the episode, you can access it here.

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