The Great Wall of China ain't the only thing man mad visible from space

by Rainertaycho on March 13, 2018 - 9:22pm

According to the article "The Global footprint of fisheries" by Julie Cohen, 55% of the world's waters are covered by fisheries. The Earth is composed of at least 70% water, so being able to cover 55% of that is staggeringly impressive (human greed is the best motivation afterall). UC Santa Barbara teamed up with prominent scientific figures such as Global Fishing Watch, National Geographic, Dalhousie University,Skytruth, Google, and Stanford University in order to accurately illuminate the world's global fishery net. They had managed to observe the fishery patterns from each nation down to every fishing vessel and their down times, which could vary from nation to nation. Precisely 70,000 commercial fishing vessels were observed and countries such as China, Japan, South Kore, Spain and Taiwan accounted for 85% of the vessels fishing in the highseas. Now thinking of the amount of pollution these vessels produce, not to mention the amount of fishes that are consumed by these countries, it is enough to think that we are about to slowly eliminate biodiversiy in the seas. As to the motivation for this large amount of fishing, research has tied the fishery activities largeky to politics culture and economy, more so than natural fish migration and marine food production. This means that humans keep hunting for fish more than is necessary to survive.The reason as to why this topic was brought up by such prominent figures is to alert the government and the people to regulate fishery activities better as their actions could lead to dire consequences.


In my opinion, we have been hunting fishes in excessive amounts and that we should tone down on the fish massacres. We hunt for fish for economic prosperityleaving behind small dents in biodiversity which could accumulate and one day completely break the chain. 


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Your summary intrigued me as rather than focusing on the expected forests and human ecosystems, it focused on the marine ecosystems and the problems they face. Having just written my own summary on the interconnection of the human and forest ecosystems and how one can drastically affect the other in ways other than what one would expect, it is refreshing to read about something “new”. As your summary states, over 55 % of our oceans are currently being fished, a number which can only be expected to increase. As Krysten Jetson explains in her article “Impact of Overfishing On Human Lives”, fishing has gone from a means of sustenance to an industry aiming to satisfy an ever increasing demand, without forgetting the pretty penny to be made. With the technological advancements made within the last few decades, such as sonar, have allowed companies to begin going deeper and further into the ocean for their merchandise (Jetson, 2014). As overfishing continues, population levels in marine life being harvested continue to decrease at alarming rates, some even approaching critical levels where repopulation might become impossible (Jetson, 2014). Not only this, but the long dragging nets have been destroying ocean bottoms while also collecting and damaging many lifeforms not consumed, which are then either slaughtered or released despite injury. As Jetson and yourself both state, the only way to counter these effects before their consequences become irreparable, is to reduce fishery activities long enough for the marine species suffering from underpopulation to repopulate. While a solution such as this would require at the very least a few years, it would undoubtedly hardly compare to the adversities we are to endure should we throw the marine ecosystem out of balance more so than we currently are.

Works Cited:
Jetson, K. (2014, April 08). Impact of Overfishing On Human Lives. Retrieved March 19, 2018, from