Stop Overfishing and Support Fish Farms
Overfishing has become a prominent issue around the world, yet it has not received enough attention in the last few decades as it should. It began in the middle of the 20th century, when the search for protein-rich foods became more of an immediate priority. Policies were made to increase fishing capacities in order to feed international societies. Towards the latter part of the century, authorities slowly realized how big of an impact that overfishing’s catastrophic consequences had on the planet. The main focus of the Ocean Activist Group (OAG) is to raise awareness of this issue and put a stop to it, or at least decrease the damage. Due to the disappearing fish populations, the destruction of sea beds, and the suffering economy, harsher restrictions should be placed on fishing companies in order to save the world’s oceans from the point of no return.
Fish play a significant role in the food chain, both in and out of the water. According to an article in a National Geographic magazine, by 1989, 90 metric tons of fish were caught, leaving just a few left to retaliate back from near extinction (National Geographic). They provide food for many other sea creatures such as seals and sharks. According to research over 25% of fish populations are either exploited or completely depleted (Overfishing). Since the numbers are slowly depleting, the demand is rising and fishing companies are using any possible method to harvest their target species, a major one being tuna.
Unfortunately, the fish populations are not the only victims. One of the main methods of fishing (net fishing) uses a large, heavy net that picks up any and all things that get in the way, including other non-target species of fish, crabs, sharks, as well as pieces of seabed and coral. Coral is crucial in an ocean’s ecosystem, as it offers habitat and shelter for many kinds of sea life. If this coral disappears, it will put thousands more species in jeopardy, and the food chain will be permanently altered.
Along with these countless number of species, this overfishing spout is also causing many problems within the economy. As targeted species disappear, fishing companies begin to lose business, as they can no longer provide fish at reasonable prices to the public. Fish prices rise dramatically, which also causes a domino effect of shortages. If fishing companies continue to lose profits, they will eventually go out of business and thousands of people will be unemployed. In this economy, a job is essential to thriving in this society, and even to survival.
Although fish makes up a significant amount of our food supply, they do not necessarily have to be harvested in the current manner. As efficient as the current methods are, and maybe even a little too efficient, many other alternatives to net fishing have been discovered and re-introduced, such as pole fishing and fish farming. Pole fishing goes back to the methods of the old days, even back to the early history of man. The fishermen simply spear a single fish and toss it onto the boat, and the process continues until the job is done. Although it may be a slower process, pole fishing drastically minimizes the harm that is done to the wildlife beneath the water’s surface that occurs during net-fishing.
Fish farming is another alternative to net-fishing. It is an ethical and harmless way of harvesting fish that involves specifically breeding target-fish inside an enclosed facility that keeps the fish healthy as they make their way through the process of harvesting. This also minimizes the strain on wild salt and freshwater fish populations as fishermen no longer have to alter the oceanic habitats, or take them directly out of the wild.
With this being said, the Ocean Activist Group is dedicated to raising awareness to this ever-present problem, and to promoting safer, more natural and less harmful alternatives to fishing. Time is slowly running out, and halting the destruction of fish populations throughout the world is crucial in the food chain, as well as in other aspects of life. The consequences of finding a solution to this growing catastrophe only remain in a positive light as they strive for a better and more sustainable life for future generations, in and out of the water.