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Overfishing Is the Concept of When Humans Fish

Autor:   •  February 24, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,505 Words (7 Pages)  •  73 Views

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The ocean is one of the most important sources for food. The ocean covers approximately 75% of the earth’s surface and has also been one of the most reliable sources for food. Due to the vast size of the ocean, it is very common for people to assume that the depletion of its resources would be impossible. However, little did people know that overfishing is actually regarded as one of the biggest threats to the ocean’s ecosystem.

Overfishing is the concept of when humans fish at a pace that the ocean is unable to keep up with. A reason as to why overfishing exists partly is because of the increase in population around the world. However, the increase in population also comes with the increased need for food. As a result, the ocean has been forced to adapt to the needs of us humans. The consequences of overfishing are already apparent economically and ecologically. The purpose of this essay is to examine the concept of overfishing and the consequences of overfishing.

For instance, it is important to establish that fish is one of most important sources for protein for almost every person in the world. It is very common for fish to be included as part of the daily diet of an average individual. Billions of people around the world even rely on fish for survival. Not only is fish an important source of food, it is also an important source employment. Over 260 million humans around the world have jobs having to do with fishing [1]. With the steady decline of the production of worldwide fisheries, the number of jobs would also decrease resulting in a potential economic breakdown. The increased levels of fishing partnered with ignorant fishing practices would almost certainly drive the ocean to its end. Approximately 30% fisheries from around the world have already been exerted upon its limits [1]. Fish populations such as the Bluefin Tuna have also been declining to the point of being extinct. The disruption of the marine ecosystem such as overfishing top predators like sharks had already created an unnatural imbalance in the ecosystem. If the subject of overfishing were to be left untouched, it would be no surprise if fish were to become a luxury product.

In addition, it is also essential to understand the reason why overfishing labeled as one of the most threatening activities to the ocean’s ecosystem. The demand for fish plays a crucial role in incentivizing people to continue fishing at an extreme pace. Consumer demand for fish correlates to the concept of “fishing effort”. The term fishing effort is simply the measure of fishing activity [2]. The survival of certain fish populations is unfortunately tied to the measure of fishing effort. Fishing effort often pertains to the type of technology/gear used and the time spent fishing [2]. Therefore, the greater the demand for a certain type of fish, the greater the fishing effort, which results in more money invested. The more money invested, the tougher it is to pull out.

Another factor that incentivizes people around the world to continue overfishing is that it simply is profitable. All it takes is to view overfishing from an economic standpoint to understand why overfishing is such an issue. When it comes to fishing, the fish in the ocean are widely viewed as a common resource. The fish in the ocean only becomes a person’s property until it is caught. The fish that remain in the ocean still have its value in that it is able to continue to reproduce and develop [3]. The more time fish gets to spend in the ocean without interference, the higher its value becomes. That being said, when a fish is caught, the fish loses its potential value. This loss in value allows fisheries to profit and make money. However, due to the fact that the potential value in fish is commonly overlooked by consumers, consumers hardly ever have to pay an expensive price. In addition, since fish is known to be a common and plentiful resource, its economic value is very much undervalued. Due to the undervaluing of fish, fisheries are forced to catch more fish to balance out its losses.

An additional problem in successfully regulating fishing practices has to do with the level of enforcement and monitoring of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (a.k.a IUU). IUU fishing pertains to fishing without a license, fishing in a prohibited area, fishing over a specific quota, etc. IUU fishing involves more than just private businesses intentionally violating the law. IUU fishing involves the operating of vessels in countries that have subpar standards and lack the capability to control this activity [3]. IUU fishing often

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