Overfishing: Fish Stocks

1294 WordsJun 27, 20096 Pages
Overfishing Most of the problems associated with overfishing have been caused in the last 50 years by the rapid advances in fishing technology. There used to be hundreds of trawlers and fishing boats based at ports like Peterhead, Grimsby and Great Yarmouth, but these have now been replaced by huge factory ships which are able to stay out at sea for weeks at a time. These factory boats have all the equipment necessary either to freeze or tin fish caught by their hunting ships, so that they need to return to base only when their holds are full. With the introduction of the new factory boats, there was a 7% growth in catches every year during the 1950’s and 60’s, but since then there has been little increase in catch size, and at least…show more content…
On the Dagger Bank, off the east coast of England near Great Yarmouth, overfishing caused the annual catch of herring to fall 30-fold in just 15 years. By 1966, only 10,000 tonnes of the fish were caught in the whole year. Further north, a ban was placed on herring fishing, and in 1977, a total ban was placed on herring fishing, throughout the North Sea. The ban lasted for six years. These are just a few examples of how overfishing can seriously affect not only the fish stocks, but also the livelihoods of many people who depend on fishing as a job. There is a delicate balance to be struck between catching large numbers of fish so as to make more money and ensuring that there are enough fish left alive to be able to replenish stocks for future years. It is human nature to try to make as much money as possible, but this has to be weighed against the economic hardship that whole communities have suffered as a result of overexploiting their own fisheries, not to mention the grave consequences of overfishing for fish populations. The Effects of Overfishing on Other Wildlife. The overfishing of a particular species does not just damage the population of that fish alone. It can have serious effects further up the food chain. Herring is a vital prey species for the cod.

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