- a threat to Ocean Life
Overfishing can be threatening to ocean life. When too many fish are caught and the number of ocean life decreases substantially, the ocean ecosystems are thrown out of balance causing overpopulation to some ocean life and extinction to others, as well as depletion of resources. The outcome can be dangerous, not only to ocean life but to man and everything in the environment.
Over the past 50 years, overfishing has become a more prominent problem thanks to the rapid development of fishing technologies. Fishing boats are being replaced by bigger commercial factory ships which are able to stay out in the ocean for weeks at a time. With the change in fishing technology, the number of fish caught increased rapidly in the 1950s. However, nowadays, less and less fish are caught due to constant problem of overfishing.
As the number of fish present in the ocean to be caught gets smaller and smaller, so are the mesh sizes used in fishing nets. Valuable fish once roamed the oceans are now rare. Fishermen have to settle for smaller and less valuable fish. With the smaller mesh sizes they use, smaller fish and ocean life are caught. Some of them are young and too small to be food for man and are often used as fertilizers or animal food. Hundreds of thousands of fish and other ocean life are killed each year by fishermen trying to catch other ocean life. Tens of thousands of dolphins are killed each year by tuna fishermen. overfishing In many places, overfishing has caused the government to restrict fishing and catching other ocean life until those fish and ocean life population have recovered.
Overfishing can be reduced by:
- having quotas on the number of ocean life that can be caught
- nets with small mesh size should be banned to allow smaller ocean life to escape so that they will have the chance to grow and breed
- restrict the number of days boats are allowed to fish and catch other ocean life
- Compensate fishermen for their old boats if they would stop fishing
- have protected areas where fishing and preying on other ocean life is off limit
- declare certain time of year to be off limit for catching certain ocean life
- monitor areas using Fisheries Protection ships and aircraft.