Commercial Fisheries: Fishing Down the Line
by veronicajchang on April 20, 2018 - 11:02am
In the article “Fisheries and the Environment”, it is described how marine ecosystems are severely damaged due to commercial fisheries; the purpose of this article is to inform the public on the causes and effects of commercial fisheries’ practices. It is further stated how overfishing disrupts the aquatic ecosystems; though fish may be renewable, they are not inexhaustible; the life and health of fish are in danger, as many are losing their habitat and are getting contaminated by elements negatively affecting the waters that fish live in. With that said, scientists mention how the world’s total biomass of cod, tuna, and other fish has dropped since the fisheries’ industrialization in the 1950s by 90%; this is due to commercial extinction. Moreover, as mentioned previously, fish’s habitation is negatively affected, and one of the reasons why is due to fishing gear that is not friendly for the marine environment. For instance, types of fishing gear that destroy and cause severe damage to fish’s habitat include longline fishing, which is prone to incidental catching and killing of many dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks with its baited hooks, along with bottom trawling, which damages the ocean floor and harms marine species by dragging a fishing net on the sea floor. Furthermore, overexploitation of fish disrupts the food web and it is indicated that this is generally the outcome of unsustainable fishing practices. This issue is deemed a social problem, as this is still happening today; humans are causing this issue, but if not handled properly and if we do not put in restrictive measures to resolve this problem, it will turn back on, us, humans and affect our lives negatively.
As I believe this with many other environmental issues, I think it is important to put in restrictive measures at the legislative level, in order to effectively resolve this issue. With stricter laws controlling certain activities and methods concerning fishing, I think the problem would be solved quicker. That being said, I agree with the author of this article, when mentioning that it is critical that governments and industries take action by learning from past mistakes, in order to sustainably manage present and future fisheries.