Solutions for Overfishing

by jelllybeans on November 10, 2017 - 8:48pm

Fisheries Today

Today, fishing has been such a large and growing industry where the request for seafood has been a lot higher than past decades. Due to the high demand for fish, the number of fisheries have naturally increased as well. As a result, overfishing the ocean has been a large issue where “more than 85% of the world’s fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them” (“WWF Canada”).

Overfishing as the Issue

In the article, “The Ocean’s Fasted Shark is being Threatened by Over Fishing”, the author discusses how overfishing of the shortfin mako sharks by either bycatch or specifically targeted have not been properly reported by fishermen causing a significant decrease in the shortfin mako shark population. The author discusses how it is difficult to create sustainable management solutions to minimize the vulnerability of the mako sharks. However, not all fishermen report their catches the same way and it is challenging when there are many unreported catches. The author concludes that the cause of overfishing is threatening the mako sharks since scientist were able to track mako sharks and noticed that about 30% of the mako sharks have been fished as well as the mortality rate of these sharks have been 10 times higher than what is reported. However, a number researchers, experts, and scientists as well as the author, conclude that there is still hope for fisheries and the ocean when successful and sustainable fishery management and conservation is implemented to avoid declining populations of sharks, fish, and species in the ocean.

Sustainable Management and Solutions

          The author, concludes that overfishing and the lack and lenient laws of reporting catches is one of the reason as to why the mako shark population has been endangered. However, there are a significant amount of methods and solutions to maintain the mako sharks, as well as other species in the ocean and to stop overfishing to occur.

Sustainable Management and Solutions: Certifications

          Certifications are an excellent economic instrument that can be used to help create a sustainable management for sharks, and other ocean species since it is a market-based mechanism where industries who participate are held to certain standards that are known to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. There are many known fishery certifications such as “This Fish” where it informs consumers that the fish they are consuming are from sustainable practices, as well as they are informed of where the fish they consume are specifically from. In the case of the mako sharks, there is a lack of honesty in terms of properly reporting their catches. Certifications force industries to be held accountable to the number of catches that are sustainable for the ocean. In addition, consumers can help sustain the ocean by purchasing products that are solely certified which will increase competition that may lead fisheries to better management practices as well as help consumers feel empowered, and bring recognition and awareness to this large issue.

Sustainable Management and Solutions: Protected Areas

          Another method that can help create successful and sustainable fishery management and conservation that will help avoid declining populations of mako sharks, as well as other species are through protected areas. The government of Canada has implemented many policies for protected areas within the Boreal Forest, however, “less than 2% of the world’s ocean are protected in marine parks” (“Overfishing”, Revolution). Thus, having more no-catch zones can help protect mako sharks from fisheries and will allow the mako shark populations and other species within these areas to recover and restore themselves that will help sustain the future generations of ocean species. The author states that sharks play a vital role in the marine ecosystem, they are essential to the health of our oceans. Therefore, changing the current policies and implementing new legislations where fishing in specific areas are prohibit can help restore the mako shark’s population, and other marine species.


          In conclusion, there has been many issues regarding overfishing that have led to marine life of the ocean to rapidly decline. Recently, scientists have discovered that overfishing has been one of the causes of the decrease in mako shark, where many issues have been brought up where dishonest reporting of fisheries have occurred. To help create sustainable and successful fishery management and conservation, certifications and protected areas can have a large impact. Certifications can keep fisheries accountable to meet specific standards of fishing as well as protected areas can protect species from being fished to help species and habitats recover. Thus, there is still hope for both the fishing industry, as well as the marine life through sustainable management.



Works Cited

Mitchell, B. (2015). Resource and environmental management in Canada. Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press.

Overfishing. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Overfishing Solutions. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

The Ocean's Fastest Shark is being Threatened by Over Fishing. (2017, August 7). Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

ThisFish | Seafood Traceability. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from