Fish Depletion - Research Paper Example

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Course: Date: Fish Depletion The global fish stock will run out by 2048 if the continued decline in marine species continues at the present rate unabated (Blackford 1978). These findings were based on a four year catch data and the effects of collapse of fisheries…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, advancement in technology enabled more areas of the oceans to be exploited. According to a report by the Food Agricultural Organization, an estimated 25 percent of the global fish species have been depleted or fully exploited (Srinivasan 183). It is however unimaginable to have a world without marine life. More than 2.6 billion people in developing countries depend on fish to provide them with animal protein and depletion of fish stock would affect food security and nutritional status of this people. Moreover, fish depletion would have significant impacts to the world economy given that fishing industry employs more than 150 million people and is a source livelihood for the poor (Srinivasan 183). The causes of fish depletion include overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and invasive species. However, human causes are the cause of fish depletion. The paper will analyze the causes of fish depletion and recommend ways that will help reverse this trend. Causes of Fish Depletion The first main cause of fish depletion is overfishing where fish species are trapped at a rate that is faster than they reproduce (Scrimgeour, et al. 957).Overfishing is the biggest threat to fish population more than even the contribution of pollution. Overfishing results from better fishing methods and high demand for fish products are blamed for overfishing. Overfishing is a serious environmental issue given that depletes adult fish leaving fish that are not able to breed. The period between 1950 and 1994 saw the ocean fish catch grow by more than 400 percent and by 1998 the total global fish catch was approximated to be 93 million tons which and subsequent years were followed by a decline in the fish capture (Clare 73). The reduction is an indication that overfishing has led to fish declines. The main reason behind overfishing is due to global fishing vessels that are currently five times larger than the equipments that are required to sustainably catch fish produced in the oceans (Clare 73). In fact the worldwide active fishing vessels have a capacity to fill four planets equal to earth’s surface (Clare 75). Overcapacity is therefore removing fish at a rate faster than their rate of breeding. In addition to overcapacity of the fishing vessels, most fishing methods being used currently lead to negative impacts to the ecosystem. Bottom trawling for instance is a poor fishing given that it uses a non-selective fishing method and heavy gear leading to destruction of marine life. The method destroys fish breeding grounds and kills some fish species. Some fishing gears used currently also lead to trapping of fingerlings which are then killed thereby reducing the fish stock. In some developing countries, there have been cases of fishermen using mosquito nets whose pores are too small thereby catching the young fish. This has led to high rates of fish depletion with current data indicating that over 50 % of the fish stock are fully exploited, 20 percent have been moderately exploited while a further 17 percent is overexploited (Tsitsika et al. 731). 7 percent have been completely depleted although only 1 percent is recovering from depletion. In 1992, the formerly thriving cod industry came to a halt after there was no fish as the fishing season began (Tsitsika et al. 731). The other main cause of fish depletion is increased rates of pollution. Ocean pollution is negatively affecting the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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