Overfishing of marine resources is responsible for serious changes in marine ecosystems around the world. It is causing a loss in diversity and a decrease in the services provided by these ecosystems.

The Mediterranean has been actively fished for thousands of years. Intensive fishing has reduced the populations of many species, which are now overexploited or ecologically extinct. Furthermore, continuous exploitation has led to a gradual decrease in the abundance of species that occupy higher trophic levels, which has produced drastic changes in the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Other problems due to overfishing are habitat destruction and the bycatch of non-target species through non-selective fishing practices. Thus, intensive fishing greatly degrades marine ecosystems and compromises their recovery.