The earliest accounts of overfishing occurred in the 1800s, when the demand of whale blubber nearly wiped out the whale populations. In the mid 1900s, the harvesting of Atlantic cod, herring, and California sardines drove them to the brink of extinction. These high disruptions cause regional depletions of animal resources which is starting to cause a global problem. There has never been a more urgent time for fishing nations to make a commitment towards the sustainability of our oceans. More than 80% of the world’s fisheries have been, or are being pushed beyond their limits and are in dire need of strict management plans. Populations of fish and elasmobranch fish such as tuna, grouper and sharks have been declining to the point where the survival
This issue of overfishing covers vast fields, such as science, humanity, economy, society and nature. The term “optimum”, in regard to the yield from a fishery, is difficult to be defined, precisely and fixedly. Generally speaking, we can describe it as follows: (Niles E. Stople, January 2009, FishNet USA)
Iconic Cape Cod Massachusetts is named after the Atlantic Cod. For centuries, this fish has provided food and trade for New Englanders. In this time, there have been several instances of overfishing by humans from the aboriginal era to colonial times but none so drastic as the present conditions of cod fisheries (Jackson, Kirby, Berger, and Bjorndal, 2001). Overfishing is a human induced occurrence where humans are fishing more than a body of water can sustain. In other words, humans are catching more adult fish preventing the existing population from growing to replenish the fish that were caught (Overfishing: A Global Disaster, n.d.). Worldwide, over 80% of the fish stocks are “fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse” (Overfishing: A Global Disaster, n.d.). The results of this careless behavior has reduced the biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine and landed the Atlantic Cod on the endangered species list as being “vulnerable” (Cod, n.d.). In the neighboring region of Newfoundland, Canada, communities are already feeling the effects of overfishing. In 1992, at the beginning of the fishing season in the Grand Bank region, there were suddenly no more cod. The local economies collapsed and to this day, the region has not quite recovered (Brennan and Withgott, 2005).
"Big Fish in Troubled Waters" by Stephen Ornes informs you that our oceans and water life are being overfished resulting in a decrease in fish.
The Oceaneos Research Foundation stated that in the mid-1990 the Atlantic cod was caught to near extinction. “Newfoundland’s fishing industry collapsed due to overfishing and 40,000 jobs were lost and the ecosystem destroyed. Fifteen years after the loss of the cod industry they are still waiting for a recovery.” (“The Oceaneos Marine Research Foundation”, 2017)
In the 1600s, due to the abundance of cod fish in the North Atlantic waters, commercial cod fisheries became one of the foundations of the New England economy (Seelye& Bidgood, 2013). However, as people increasingly relied on fisheries to make lucrative profits, the cod fish population plummeted and the whole business reached its first collapse in the mid 1990s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA 2014). Since then, government regulations and international agreements have gradually emerged to preserve the Atlantic cod fish population. Even though the cod fish population did seem to rebound slightly, it could never catch up with people’s monstrous appetite for
According to a study done by Living Planet Report in 2015, 29% of the world’s fishing stocks are considered overfished and an additional 61% is fully exploited with no possibility to produce more fish. Our environment is currently afflicted by a number of different problems, one of which is overfishing. Overfishing is defined by FishOnline as, “Fishing with a sufficiently high intensity to reduce the breeding stock levels to such an extent that they will no longer support a sufficient quantity of fish for sport or commercial harvest.” The overfishing situation is being exacerbated by non-sustainable and destructive fishing practices and unfair fisheries partnership agreements; while there are currently attempts being made at fixing these problems and their effects on overfishing, nothing has been extremely effective.
Commercial fisheries can do tremendous damage to the marine ecosystem if they are not managed properly. This became apparent in Newfoundland and Labrador during the 1990s, when decades of overfishing caused the northern cod stocks to collapse and resulted in a moratorium on the centuries-old industry. These were huge ecological and economic losses, which dictated an urgent need to change fisheries policy and practice in a way that would make the industry sustainable and protect marine biodiversity.
U.S. fishermen have been harvesting Atlantic cod since the 17th century; in fact, cod was one of the most lucrative products traded during colonial times. Unfortunately, due to high fishing pressure during the past couple of decades, U.S. stocks of Atlantic cod came close to a commercial collapse in the mid-1990s, so a major effort to rebuild these stocks was implemented. However, 2012 assessments have indicated that both the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod stocks are still seriously overfished and are not recovering as fast as expected. Overfishing of cod has led to the suffering of the entire North Atlantic
How often do we stop and think about the people that fish to provide the rest of the world with the supply of fish that is in demand. With many fisheries closing down due to poor managing and depletion, anglers are turning to the deep sea to fill their “fish orders”. Large fishing vessels also known as Super Trawlers are dragging fishing nets up to a mile deep. Doing this allows them to catch as many fish as possible, but it is also destroying natural habitat such as coral reefs that have been part of the sea for thousands of years. The effect of this is devastating to sea life.
Overfishing is a death sentence to the world’s oceans. As technology continues to improve a great deal of fish can be caught quicker; but at what cost? The effects of overfishing can lead to the extinction of not just the animals being fished, but also the predators that rely on fish to eat. Ninety percent of the ocean’s largest animals have been wiped out due to overfishing (“Overfishing- A Global Disaster”, 2011). National Geographic cites the academic journal Science (2006) that predicts by 2048, all fisheries will collapse due to lack of ocean wildlife. Fish are not the only animal caught in the nets used by fishing vessels. Often animals such as dolphins, sharks, turtles, and seabirds are
In order for there to be plenty of fish in the years ahead, fisheries will have to develop sustainable fisheries and some will have to close. Due to the constant increase in the human population, the oceans have been overfished with a resulting decline of fish crucial to the economy and communities of the world. The control of the world's fisheries is a controversial subject, as they cannot produce enough to satisfy the demand, especially when there aren't enough fish left to breed in healthy ecosystems. Scientists are often in the role of fisheries managers and must regulate the amount of fishing in the oceans, a position not popular with those who have to make a living fishing ever decreasing populations.
According to the United Nations, 17% of fish stocks worldwide are currently overexploited; 52% are fully exploited; and 7% are depleted. This means that only an estimated 20% of worldwide fish stocks are not already at or above their capacity(Seafarms, 2013). Catches of Pacific herring have decreased by 71% since the 1960s, with Atlantic herring catches falling by 63%. Atlantic Cod catches have fallen by 69% in the same time(Seafarms, 2013). These are just a few of many facts and statistics on the topic of overfishing. The effects of these statistics and facts impact people’s and animal's lives around the