Overfishing is a form of overexploitation, in which fish stocks such as tuna and sardines are reduced to a level far below levels which can normally be maintained. Or as the WWF stated “Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction”, this overexploitation can occur in different scales and bodies of water such as in ponds and rivers, to lakes and oceans. Resource depletion is a result of overfishing, as well as reduced biological growth rates and lower biomass levels. Although many people believe that gathering as many fish as is possible for them is a profitable practice, it does however come with some serious consequences. Such as: Marine life imbalance, decreased food security and Economic Loss.
But the results not only affect the social and economic well-being of the communities who depend on the oceans and fish for their way of life; but it also affects the balance of life in our oceans.
All across the globe there are billions of people who rely on fish and the oceans for their protein and their livelihoods. For centuries the seas and oceans have been considered as a “Limitless bounty of food.” However, this isn’t true. Fishing efforts have been increased over the last half century as well as unsustainable fishing practices. As a result many fish stocks such as Tuna and Madeiran Sardine are being pushed to the point of collapse. Although many fishers and general public are aware of the need to safeguard the remaining populations and to safeguard the marine environment as a whole. There is still illegal fishing and other problems that still exist.
Photo by Bill Curtsinger (National Geographic, 2017) [Accessed: Feb 9th, 2017]
Although overfishing can be defined in a number of ways from places such as academic literature and Wikipedia and even WWF. It all boils down to one simple point: catching too much fish for the system to support will lead to an overall degradation of the system meaning Overfishing is the non-sustainable use for the Ocean.
National Geographic, (2016). Cod caught in a net, Gulf of Maine. [image] Available at: http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/photos/oceans-overfishing/#/fish-net_158_600x450.jpg [Accessed 9 Feb. 2017].
World Wildlife Fund. (2017). Overfishing | Threats | WWF. [Online] Available at: https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/overfishing [Accessed 8 Feb. 2017)
Overfishing.org. (2017). Overfishing – A global environmental problem, threat to our oceans and disaster… [Online] Available at http://overfishing.org/pages/what_is_overfishing/php [Accessed 8 Feb 2017.]