Fishing Industry's Overfishing and Its Impact on Environment
Because of the fast development of a variety of advanced technologies of fishing, the fishing capabilities have improved to a large extent and thus have led to overfishing. Overfishing can be defined as the inadequate reproduction of the fish in the ocean because of frequent, mass hunting activities conducted by human beings. There is no doubt that overfishing has led to severe negative effects on the ecological environment and marine creatures. Thus, the aim of this essay is to explore the main problems of overfishing by examining the decrease of certain species, the economic impact overfishing has on communities, and Negative impact on coral communities.
The first and foremost problem would be the fishing resources in the ocean. Compared with the traditional fishing resource management model in which allowing human beings to catch the fish reasonably, the sustainable development between the population size of the fish and fishery output could make sure the stability of species of the fish in the ocean (Food and agriculture organization of the united nations, 2018). However, because of the use of a variety of advanced technologies, human beings would like to take large-scale fishing of specific fish, and thus the food chain whole fish system of the is broken as a result of the overfishing. These cracks in the food chain are irreparable and the biological system of the fish has to be unchanged as a whole, which will lead to the unbalanced development of the whole ecosystem. If the catch of the fish exceeds the natural growth capacity of the reproduction of the fish, the fish resource will continue to decline.
However, the among and species of the fish decrease with the increase of fishing power, and the natural supplement of the fish also decreases, which leads to the decline of fish resources in the ocean (Carpenter, 2011). There are about 600 species of the fish resources in the world. One quarter of the fish resources, such as tuna, Newfoundland cod and silver cod, are suffering from the severe exhaustion or the overfishing in the past 15 years. Taking the Japan for instance, since most Japanese would like to eat the sashimi and thus needs of the fish is so huge, however, Japan has suffered from a fish shortage in the past 50 years, and the catch of saury has dropped by about 30% and it is estimated that the fishing has fallen sharply in the Japan in the following years (the Japan Times News, 2019). Besides, the negative consequences of the food chain would lead to disasters towards other marine animals at the top of the food chain in the marine biological system such as dolphins, sharks and so on (Hinchliffe,2018). Thus, the negative effects on the whole marine biological system could not be ignored.
In addition, overfishing would have negative effects on sustainable effects on the economy in fishing industry and even the whole society. By taking advantages of a variety of advanced technologies, some fishing companies take fishing business day and night no matter whether or not the fish are in the habitat season. The advanced technologies would commonly contain icebreakers, high-tech electronics, sonar technology and so on, these technologies not only could catch a large amount of the fish but also could have negative effects on normal living environment of other marine creatures. Taking the Canada for instance, as a result of overfishing, the cod population had decreased to 2% and it was at the lowest point in fishing history in the 1990s. Thus, in order to address the negative effects on the cod reproduction, the Canadian government promoted a fishing ban on Newfoundland fisheries. Although this policy controlled fishing activities, it resulted in the bankruptcy of a large number of fishing companies in the Newfoundland, from leading fishing companies to small private fishing firms.
Even worse, almost 40,000 fishermen became unemployed. Newfoundlanders have to look for jobs in other cities and thus it had negative effects on the economy and indeed the whole society of Newfoundland. Although the Canadian government offered $400 million to address the high unemployment rate in the fishing industry in Newfoundland, the whole economy was negatively affected to a large extent (Higgins, 2019). In addition, because of the control of overfishing, the prices of the fish increased significantly, such high-priced fish were no longer affordable for ordinary people to consume. If there are no planning and restrictions on fishing, it can be expected that the fish in the aquatic market will be more expensive in the future. The import and export trade of aquatic products of the local society would also suffer from tremendous consequences and thus the fishing industrial chain will be traumatized on a global scale. Thus, overfishing would not only have negative effects on the whole marine biological system but also the whole economy and society across the world.
At present, some fishing methods are destructive and unsustainable towards the development of the coral reefs. These include cyanide fishing, overfishing and explosive fishing. Although cyanide fishing supplies a large number of live tropical fish for the tropical ornamental fish aquarium market, most of the fish caught in this way are sold to restaurants. This fishing method is mainly used in Asia. Fishermen dive into coral reefs and spray cyanide from cracks in the reefs, making the fish dizzy and easy to catch. Although some large tropical fish metabolize cyanide, smaller fish and other marine animals, such as corals, can be poisoned by clouds of chemicals produced in the process (Kenneth, 2005). Overfishing is another cause of reef degradation. Often, too many fish are taken from a reef, making it difficult to maintain a balanced population in the area. Some of these despicable fishing methods, such as banging on reefs with sticks, destroy the formation of corals that serve as fish habitats. In some cases, people use explosives to blast fish, which clear the surrounding coral. In addition, the coastal engineering, offshore engineering, mining, and other activities along rivers that enter the sea would contribute to land erosion.
As a result, soil particles eventually enter the ocean and cover coral reefs. This makes the reef ‘suffocate’ and not gets the sunlight it needs to grow. Mangroves and seaweeds, which filter the sediment, are also rapidly destroyed, leading to an increase in the amount of sediment reaching the reef. From this perspective, Coral reefs are not only suffering from some natural factors such as hurricanes and El Nino, but also some human threats including overfishing, destructive fishing techniques, coastal development, pollution, and so on at present. According to a recent report published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), 75% of the world’s reefs are under local and global pressure (Roberts, 2001). Ten percent of the reef damage is beyond repair. Therefore, as an important part of marine ecosystem, coral reef ecosystem plays an important role. Nowadays, with the increasing impact of human activities on the environment and the increasingly prominent environmental problems, coral reefs are inevitably facing the threat and damage of environmental change. It would be of necessity to emphasis the protection of coral reefs in the ocean.
In conclusion, there are numerous problems of the overfishing, the first one would be that the overfishing would negatively affect the normal reproduction of the fish and the amount of the fish resources would decrease to a large extent. Also, the overfishing would negatively affect the whole biological development of the whole marine system including the coral and other marine creatures. Even worse, the overfishing would take negative effects on the sustainable development of the economy and the whole society. Consequently, it is essential to protect the marine environment, ecosystem and the food chain of marine creatures (Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy, 2017). The human beings should pay attention to the protection of marine resources, and tale the rational development and utilization of the marine resources. Only in this way can the resources of the marine creatures could be restored in the sustainable way. At the same time, it can also improve the positive development and revitalize the fishery economy.
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