Over Fishing, Problems and Solutions
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Over fishing is a serious problem that the world faces today. With sea food consumption at an all time high and the oceans resources being fished almost to extinction. We have to look towards the future of maintaining our oceans resources. “Only 10 percent of all large fish-both open ocean species including tuna, swordfish, marlin and the large ground fish such as cod, halibut, skates and flounder-are left in the sea”(National Geographic, pg. 1) To help maintain and preserve our oceans resources countries have been setting up no fishing zones. A new industry has been created with fish farming and individual tradable quotas. Is this enough to preserve and replenish the ocean’s resources we have pillaged?Close to 40% of the seafood we eat nowadays comes from aquaculture; the $78 billion industry has grown 9% a year since 1975, making it the fastest-growing food group, and global demand has doubled since that time.”(Stier, pg.1)
To offset this global hunger for sea food countries have been using fish farms to raise fish for consumption. The problem with fish farming is trying to get the input less than the output, it takes “44 lbs of such feed to get 1 kg of tuna ready for a sushi bar near you.”(Stier, pg. 1) The problem with tuna also is that “because despite prodigious efforts, especially by the Japanese, no one has been able to raise tuna from eggs.”(Stier, pg. 1) tuna consumes a lot of fish meal and fish oil because they eat live fish. Since tuna cannot be raised from eggs fish farms have to trap live tuna in school and transport them to calmer water to grow up. We need to raise more fish that are herbivores and omnivores to keep the world’s fish meal and fish oil supplies in check.
Fish farming does have its draw backs as well. Aquaculture on and industrial scale can cause destruction to coastal habitats through waste, diseases, and possible escape of exotic species. “We need to farm fish in ways that more closely “mimic the oceans”, combining multiple complementary species, including a “cleaner fish.”(Stier, pg. 1) Fish farming is and economical way to keep our resources growing in the ocean by not over fishing. With the excess fish that a farm produces, we can release the extra fish into the ocean or streams to build up the depleting fish population. Another problem is the over fishing of fisheries in the ocean of different coasts.
Fisheries are located in international water and nobody has jurisdiction over the rights to these fish. Some counties are implemented individual tradable quotas. This means that a fishing company or individual will have the rights to so many pounds of fish out of a fishery. This is a way to prevent over fishing in fisheries to provide an income to all fishermen who own stock. “Suddenly, fishermen have an incentive to preserve a fishery for the future, as preservation will be reflected in a higher value.”(Heal, G, Schlenker, W, 2008) By allowing only a certain amount of fish to be harvested out of a fishery you can insure the survival of the species.
By issuing out individual tradable quotas you do not have to keep every fish you can catch because the next fisherman is. This will eliminate the competition for all fishermen to catch as much and as fast as they can. By having individual quota you ensuring that those fisherman who have a quota still having an income year after year. “Some environmental groups are opposed to anything based on market principles, others feel that ocean fisheries are common property-that everyone should be free to use them.” (G, Schlenker, W, 2008) No fishing zones have been increasing popular globally also to increase and protect fish species.
Many counties have been implementing no fishing zones around reefs and certain fisheries to promote grow. Many environmentalists and fishermen say this is not the answerer as the growing fish population may not overspill into other areas. “Florida has the largest contiguous “no take” zone in the continental U.S. – 140 square miles are off limits to fishing” (Myoutdoor TV, 2009) Many fishermen say these no fishing zones are ineffective and by posing limits on size and number of catch you could control the population more effectively. Coral reefs serve as crucial breeding grounds for many species of fish, if we keep on fishing these coral reefs not only will the fish disappear but the coral reef will also die.
Austria has the largest no fishing zone in the world “with more than 44,000 square miles off limits to fishing.”(Myoutdoor TV, 2009)”192 Nations called on the global community to restore world fisheries stocks to levels that can provide maximum sustainable yield by 2015.”(National Geographic, 2003) Is fish farming, no fishing zones, or issuing quotas on fishers’ the answer to this problem? No one nation or scientist knows the answerer to this question, the important thing is that Nations are trying to restock and preserve our oceans natural resources. Our ocean’s resources are like a bank “once you liquidate the capital, you cannot live off the interest anymore.”(MyoutdoorTV, 2009)
“Big Fish Stocks fall 90 Percent Since 1950” National Geographic News, May 15, 2003, Retrieved December 20, 2009, From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/49486836.htmlG. Heal, W. “Schlenker Sustainable Fisheries” Nature 2008, Volume 455, Retrieved December 20, 2009. From Ebscohost”No Fishing Zones Studied for Ecosystem Protection” MyOutdoor TV. 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2009 from http://www.myoutdoortv.com/news/no-fishing-zones-studied-for-ecosystem-protection.htmlK, Stier “Fish Farming’s Growing Dangers” Time September 19, 2007, Retrieved December 20, 2009 From Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1663604,00.html