Over-exploitation of natural resources

Over-exploitation in some cases lead to exhaustion, particularly by excessive forestry, fishing and hunting. This over-exploitation may be explained in part by human overpopulation in some areas of the planet, ever-increasing world demand for these resources and the development of international trade.

Industrial-scale logging, for wood products and timber, destroys or fragments millions of acres of forests each year, along with the habitat they provide to many uniquely adapted species. Over-harvesting of fisheries has driven several fish species to the brink of extinction and reduced the overall diversity of marine life. Over-hunting and illegal trade in endangered species are a prime threat to their survival. This occurs even in the well-developed countries such as the US. For example, box turtles in the US are illegally collected and exported as pets, and, they die in the tens of thousands each year. These species are very slow to reproduce, and, in some populations, poaching has resulted in too few hatchlings surviving to offset adult mortality.

To the moment, a dozen of fish species that were the most popular fish during hundreds of years, became rare and endangered species. In the North Atlantic Sea, species like cod-fish, in many areas herring, wild salmon and few more species now have almost no economic value because there is no population to fish. Even if there are still some quotas for fishery of these species, the volume of quotas decreases annually.

Not only fish, but also invertebrates and macro algae are under human pressure. In many countries inhabitants collect invertebrates along the tidal. In vicinities of cities and settlements the tidal communities could be really "eaten away".