A baby hamour measuring less than 45cm in length found in a supermarket. A survey showed that most major supermarket chains failed to observe the length restrictions regarding hamour fishing and sales. Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News

For years, the only way most people have identified hamour or orange-spotted groupers, is with a dash of lemon and some mashed potatoes on the side.

That bubble has now burst.

Overfishing threatens to wipe out some of the most popular species of fish from our oceans, including snappers and golden trevally.

Marking World Ocean Day, Gulf News reminds readers that the scourge of emptying seas can end. There is still hope - and it is in your hands.

Why you should not eat baby hamour:

• Nine out of 10 hamour fish that should exist in the ocean today are missing. It's because the species has been fished out at seven times its sustainable level.

• Overfishing of endangered species has a dramatic impact on the world. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it affects fish size, abundance, species composition and genotypic diversity.

• It is categorised as a 'Near Threatened' species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

• The orange-spotted grouper can live up to 22 years, but today, the oldest fish that can be found is only 11 years old.

• Females are mature at 25-30 cm total length (2-3 years old). Those that have been caught early do not have a chance to mature and produce eggs.

• Hampering their growth has a direct impact: a decrease in the spawning stock of hamour and their eventual disappearance from the world's oceans.

• There are also lower numbers of male hamour in the ocean, since they are larger and more heavily targeted. The imbalance in the sex ratio then interferes with the species' ability to reproduce.

What you can do:

Sign an open letter to retailers and restaurants, requesting that more sustainable seafood options be offered and labelled according to species status on http://www.choosewisely.ae/page/support-campaign

Would you stop eating baby hamour after reading this? Do you know of any places that sell or serve baby hamour?