May 20, 2013

Excessive Fishing – Why Overfishing is a Serious Problem

Fish serves as one of the world’s main source of food for many people around the world. They are packed with proteins and are great source of nutrients in a healthy diet. However, more and more fishes are being overfished all around the world, causing its population to drop significantly over the recent years.

Excessive fishing is caused when more fishes are caught than the amount that is required to reproduce its population. Fishing fleets that are used to catch fish are mostly two to three times larger than the sustainable amount the world’s oceans have. When this happens, there isn’t enough adult fish to reproduce, causing its number and supply to deplete substantially. If this is allowed to happen over an extended period of time, the ocean may be deprived of fish altogether for there isn’t enough fish to replenish the population.

 Fisherman emptying catch into fish pound on 20m trawler in North Sea, UK

Overfishing not only causes the fish population to drop, but it can also affect other marine life in the ocean. When fishing methods that are employed are dangerous to other marine life, it can cause a disruption in the balance of the ocean’s health.

Methods like bottom trawling is one of the most damaging methods to catch fish for the heavy net that is trawled along the bottom of the ocean floor can destroy other marine life, coral reefs and the ocean’s bed. Some of these marine systems will take a very long time to recover and in some cases like the coral reefs, they may not recover at all, leaving us with a barren sea.

Despite a huge demand on fishes in the market, there needs to be a controlled system in the amount of fish being caught. This needs to be implemented so that the entire fish population won’t disappear.

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