As the population grows, the world is facing increasing demand for sources of food and jobs. Fishing provides an answer to both of these needs. However, there is a high cost for our overzealous fishing of the world’s oceans. The last several years have seen numerous advances in fishing technology that allows fishermen to find and catch great schools of fish (Plumer, 2013). Using GPS and sonar, fishermen are able to find fish faster and, using trawl nets, drift nets, and longlines, fishermen are able to catch greater numbers of fish for consumption and profit (Plumer, 2013).
However, the speed at which fishermen are able to find and catch fish far surpasses the speed at which nature can replenish this wonderful natural resource. In 1990, marine fisheries around the globe peaked, and since then the available fish and the size of the catches has begun to decline rapidly (Plumber, 2013). In 2006, a study published in Science magazine informed us that at the rate fisheries were acquiring fish, the oceanic ecosystem was bound for collapse by 2050 (Plumer, 2013). Over the last decade the declining availability and wellness of fish populations has become a matter of great interest.
According to National Geographic magazine (2013), large, profit-seeking commercial fishery fleets are to blame for overfishing. The fishing endeavors for specific species such as orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, and Bluefin tuna have already collapsed (National Geographic, 2013). Overfishing is only exacerbated by issues such as environmental pollution, habitat destruction, the increasing acidity of our oceans, and climate change (National Geographic, 2013). In response to the pending extinction of many fish species, scientists say that compensation and protection measures must be aggressive and extreme (National Geographic, 2013). Unless we want fish to go the way of wooly mammoths and the golden toad, global efforts must be made to regulate fishing and increase efforts for replenishing the fish populations in our oceans.
- Plumer, B. (2013). Just how badly are we overfishing the oceans? The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/29/just-how-badly-are-we-overfishing-the-ocean/0/
- National Geographic. (2013). Overfishing: Plenty of fish in the sea? Not always. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-overfishing/