Overfishing is known to pose risks to fish stocks and thus, availability of fish for consumption. Other than catch limits, what else can be done?
Overfishing is depleting the ocean of a vital renewable resource that provides employment to one of the largest divisions in the food industry.
The techniques of overfishing are destructive to the marine environment. Nets bring up enormous amounts of non-target species (bycatch) which threaten fish, mammals and other marine life even though they are not the target catch. Methods such as bottom trawling drag heavy weighted nets that roll through and crush fragile reef structures and other necessary components of a healthy ocean ecosystem.
Overfishing is operating at such a massive and profitable scale, making it a difficult problem to confront. If no changes are made in this destructive process, the degradation of the ocean will leave many people and businesses in the fishing industry unemployed and the ocean significantly depleted of its biodiversity and health.
I am planning to find more scientific articles and ocean conservation groups to include in my research within the given project work time. Talking to biology and environmental science professors around campus as well as some local fishermen back home could also provide greater insight to this issue.
"Not surprisingly, it has been reported that industrial fishing takes between only 10 and 15 years to wipe out a tenth of whichever species it targets (2). In fact, several marine species have already been fished to commercial extinction, and this number is rapidly increasing" - Dartmouth undergraduate journal of science
- The End of the Line -
"Fish stocks are a vital resource to human populations. Not only are they a renewable resource, but they provide a variety of benefits including food and recreational pleasure, as well as supporting livelihoods. At present, however, pressures from illegal and/or unsustainable fishing, coupled with climate change, changing land-use patterns, population growth and other stressors, are contributing to declines in fish stocks" - Hesselgrave, Kruse, Sheeran
Although overfishing directly effects the environment that is overfished and the communities that surround these areas, the economic loss and environmental deterioration can have effects all over the world.
Awareness, regulation, enforcement and government support of this issue are the best approach to engage and change the cataclysmic course of the fishing industry. The destructive fishing techniques must be drastically reduced or stopped, and the government must help stand against this issue. I hope my project will assist in creating awareness of the local, global and environmental issue of overfishing.