Correcting Destructive Fishing Correcting Destructive Fishing Fishing can be a very relaxing pastime in fact fishing is actually one of the most popular pastimes around the globe. Although it may sound strange there are some onlookers that actually view some fishermen as crazy due to the amount of hours that is spent waiting. I believe this time to be serene, now where does one draw the line between a pastime and destructive fishing? According to the video from our week six assignments there seems to be a decrease in the population of certain fish large ones in fact such as tuna and swordfish.
According to Pauly (2003), overfishing is a direct result from increased human population, as we humans multiply, it increases the demand for fish for us to eat, in can also impact in the commercial fishing industry, we must also consider the problems that arise should global and national policies fail sustain the management of fisheries, this problem could lead extinction of these fishes. It is very unfortunate the some of the damages of our aquatic ecosystem are a result from the techniques that are practiced by modern fishermen.
An example would be cyanide fishing this is an illegal technique where fishermen spray coral reefs with this substance to catch different types of fish. This practice has become very controversial with especially with environmentalists because of the effects that it has on our environment. Another example would be dynamite fishing this technique, also illegal is where one would use explosives such as dynamite to kills schools of fish for easy collection and simply destroying our ecosystem.
Although there are laws that are set in place to help reduce the problem of overfishing the provisions are only binding for international waters (Axia, 2010). Industrialized countries’ interest in removing manganese nodules from the ocean floor, first expressed in the 1960s, triggered the formation of an international treaty, the U. N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS, which became effective in 1994, is generally considered a “constitution for the ocean,” and its focus is the protection of ocean resources. The provisions of UNCLOS aren’t binding for territorial waters, only for international waters (Axia, 2010).
In 1995 the United Nations Approved The U. N. Fish Stocks Agreement; this was the first international treaty to regulate marine fishing. However this treaty did not go into effect until 2001. Unfortunately because the of the continuing problem of overfishing and the fact that it continues to escalate The United Nations has sponsored other legislations and protection pacts and hopes that soon limit the number of fishing vessels in any fleet over time (Axia, 2010). In hopes of promoting as well as being able to maintain sustainability of the world’s fish populations there are several different things that must be done.
Scientist are very resourceful and are able to provide us with data that we could use to extrapolate extinction dates of various types of large fish. Research involving aquatic habitats, as well as the creation time of coral reefs that through destructive fishing practices have been destroyed could be used to educate others such as commercial fishing companies. By taking the times to educate commercial fishing companies of the impact that this has on our ecosystem may help to preserve it. One these companies have been provided relevant facts regarding these damaging fishing techniques then is their duty to take the next step.
It is also important that we consider informing as many commercial fishing companies as we can of alternative “clean” fishing techniques that do not have such a harsh impact on our aquatic ecosystems. Another approach that we may want to consider is contacting federal and state legislators with some of our concerns. For example implementing non-fishable areas such as No Take Zones, should be implemented in certain areas, putting a cap on the sizes of fleet and consider reducing of it over the years, outlawing harmful fishing equipment.
I would also include the information that was provided to the commercial fishing companies when making my argument to government officails. The Implementation of clean fishing methods, combined with “no-take zones” will eventually regenerate fish populations, and even if it takes years for this legislation to make it through governing bodies it will be worth the wait. Because with the new legislation, commercial fishing will once again begin to reap profits similar to those in the years before overfishing caused the current decline in fish populations.
The repopulation of the ocean will be viewed positively by both environmentalists and fishermen alike. Unfortunately, because commercial fishing companies will suffer from the inability to haul massive quantities of fish in from the sea, they will undoubtedly experience a loss in profits while the ocean regenerates. A regeneration period will cause a temporary loss of fishing jobs, but will ultimately provide for profitable fishing. Implementing safe fishing practices now will ensure the sustainability of ocean resources.
If today’s overfishing and destructive fishing techniques are allowed to continue, the loss of fishing jobs will become agonizingly permanent. References Axia College of University of Phoenix. (2008). the ocean and fisheries. Retrieved March 2, 2010, from Axia College, Week Six reading, aXcess, SCI275—Environmental Science Course Web site. Pauly, D. (2003). Counting the last fish. Scientific American, 289(1), 42. Retrieved March 2, 2010, from EBSCOHost (00328669). Worm, B. (2007). Fishin’ gone. Best Life, 4(5), 74. Retrieved March 2, 2010, from EBSCOHost (18604529).