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Overfishing is the act whereby fish stocks are depleted to unacceptable levels, regardless of water body size. Resource depletion, low biological growth rates, and critically low biomass levels result from overfishing. For example, overfishing of sharks has led to the upset of entire marine ecosystems. The ability of a fishery to recover from overfishing depends on whether the ecosystem's conditions are suitable for the recovery. Dramatic changes in species composition can result in an ecosystem shift, where other equilibrium energy flows involve species compositions different from those that had been present before the depletion of the original fish stock. For example, once trout have been overfished, carp might take over in a way that makes it impossible for the trout to re-establish a breeding population. (via Freebase)