Lifeless Bodies of Sea

by THuang on November 6, 2015 - 10:28pm

              In the article "'Only 50 Years Left' for Sea Fish" by Richard Black, the author argues that fish are over-exploited . He makes reference to a scientific study stating that in half a century, there will be no more fish in seas if the current pattern is continuous (the pattern being the rate of decline in sea fisheries accelerating rapidly). According to Boris Worm, a researcher from Canada's Dalhousie University, we exploit species of fish until there is no more, assuming that there will be other species to exploit. The researcher states that fish is a limited resource and that we will have exploited the remaining two-thirds of fish. The author quotes Steve Palumbi, a scientist from Stanford University, saying that if we don't change our management of the ocean, then "this century [will be] the last century of wild seafood" (Black, 2006). The author claims that no bigger ships nor bigger nets nor better technology has brought larger amount of fish; there was a decline of global catch of 13% from 1994 to 2003. Australia, North America and Europe's coastal zones' historical records has shown decline in fish stocks and in diversity of species. Those stocks have not only declined for fish, but for other seafood also. The zones where biodiversity is lost results in closure of beaches, flooding of coastal zones and growth of harmful algae. The author also states that protected sea areas restores the biodiversity in those areas and the population of fish outside those areas. Referring to Dr Worm, he explains that if the population of one specie from the low part of the food chain is reduced, then the ones from the upper food chain is also affected and that menaces the whole stability of the structure. Species in sea are more strongly attached to each other than species on land. Also, the author references the head, at IUCN (World Conservation Union), of the marine programme Carl Gustaf Lundin about the fact that there is not only the issue of the need to protect oceans. He explains that there must be a good management for marine parks and fisheries and that fishing doesn't ruin the ecosystem, but bottom trawling does. Scientists state that banning fisheries could be a solution to halt the accelerating decline of fish stocks.

              This article was very informative about this problematic issue. I've heard of pandas and rhinoceros being on the brink of extinction, but I never knew that fish (of what I thought the population was abundant) were also going to be on the brink of extinction too if we continue with large catching of fish. Governments rarely (most probably never) discussed about this issue and I think that this is a big problem. People, those who eat fish and others who do not, have no clue with what is going on in the ocean which is also an important factor for the stability of the Earth's temperature. Vegetarians refuse to eat meat because of their harsh exploitations and some of those vegetarians eat fish instead. One of those reasons is because it is abundant. Unfortunately, it is not the case anymore due to the over-exploitation of fish. Governments should ban bottom trawling and protect more areas of the ocean to let the fish to reproduce and so to restore the fish population and biodiversity.  This would ensure that creatures higher up the food chain such as sea birds wouldn't be affected.

 

Source:

Black, R. (2006, November 2). 'Only 50 Years Left' for Sea Fish. Retrieved from 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6108414.stm

Comments

This article is very interesting because it presents actual data and the probable year when fish would become extinct. The media does not present the fish situation, but concentrates instead on terrestrial species. Overfishing will lead to the extinction of many different fish and this will affect many other species. As written in the article, bottom trawling is a major problem and should be banned. It takes in everything that is on its path and is one of the most destructive way of fishing. I also agree with the fact that many areas should be protected to ensure that certain fish have time to recover from this situation humans have put them through. It is our responsibility to fix this. The numbers in the article clearly demonstrate how the fish population has declined. There is no doubt that this is due to overfishing.

Very interesting read! It is devastating to think the number of species that are on the brink of extinction all because of us and as mention above its even scarier when data is being presented with dates of when these extinctions could occur. I find it interesting that you were unaware about the issue surrounding the decline in marine diversity. To me, this means we need to do more about it. Imagine if everyone knew the damage we have done to the ocean, do you think we could changes our ways and habits to prevent further damage? Instead of showing sports hightlights or celebrity gossip on the morning news what if they informed the viewers on issues such as this one, do you think it would change people? Social media and different media outlets have become such a large tool in todays society, and I wish it was used to its full potential. Instead of hearing about what the Kardashians did last week that was so scandalous, why don't we hear about all the damage each and everyone of us has done to the oceans by supporting fisheries that over-exploit such a valuable resource. Do you think social media could help inform and education the rest of the world the issues that are being presented?

I found this article very interesting. Over-fishing is a great problem and sometimes it is not given enough importance. Not only are the fish affected, but also the environment and all the other species around them. People, often forget that fish is a conditionally renewable resource. If we do not change our ways of fishing, we will not have any fish in the future. I agree with you on the fact that there should be more protected areas. I also think that bottom trawling must be banned, some people do not realize how harmful it is to the species in the ocean. I think that it is sad that the biodiversity is slowly disappearing and it is because of humans. Also, I think that it is very interesting to see the relations between all the species. It is amazing how every organism in the food chain can change the whole structure of the food chain. The solution to the decrease of fish population is not to fish down the food chain, it does not help the fish because we are taking their food away. The solution is to reduce the magnitude of fishing, also more marine areas should be protected. It is true that the government has not done a lot to deal with the problem, but we still have some time to make a change. If the government and the society give more importance to this problem, we can still have the change to have fish in the future.

This is a very interesting article and I am glad that you have shared it. I was aware that many species of fish were at risk because of climate change and overfishing, but I was unaware that there was a possibility of all aquatic life going extinct in the near future. I know that many governments are very aware of the issues that exist in fish stocks and some have been implementing policies to help manage these issues, although it has clearly not been very successful and the stocks continue to decline. It is apparent that there is not as much common knowledge of the issues that exist in fish populations as with other land animals and this needs to change if we want to create a sustainable future for marine life. Aside from national policies I believe that the regulations on fishing need to be managed by international law because even if one country is making an attempt to improve an aquatic environment the ocean is an open system and poor practices in one area have negative implications everywhere. How do you think that awareness of this potentially disastrous future for our oceans can be improved, because this is clearly not a new problem but it doesn’t seem like much has been done to acknowledge of fight the problem on a global scale?

This is a very interesting article and I am glad that you have shared it. I was aware that many species of fish were at risk because of climate change and overfishing, but I was unaware that there was a possibility of all aquatic life going extinct in the near future. I know that many governments are very aware of the issues that exist in fish stocks and some have been implementing policies to help manage these issues, although it has clearly not been very successful and the stocks continue to decline. It is apparent that there is not as much common knowledge of the issues that exist in fish populations as with other land animals and this needs to change if we want to create a sustainable future for marine life. Aside from national policies I believe that the regulations on fishing need to be managed by international law because even if one country is making an attempt to improve an aquatic environment the ocean is an open system and poor practices in one area have negative implications everywhere. How do you think that awareness of this potentially disastrous future for our oceans can be improved, because this is clearly not a new problem but it doesn’t seem like much has been done to acknowledge of fight the problem on a global scale?

It is very nice to read that the areas where restrictions have been placed are showing an increase of biodiversity! The fact that we can already see the benefits of the changes that we did in those areas may encourage more actions to be done regarding overfishing. Now that we know the damages that our fisheries do to certain ecosystems, we need to find solutions to this issue. There definitely needs to be more regulations concerning fisheries and more areas protected. We should also change our fishing gear so that it is more selective and ban bottom trawling. It is important to seek other possibilities and change our methods of fishing. If we continue to exploit our oceans the way we are now, another incident like the Atlantic cod will probably happen.

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