old topic. new perspective.

The topic of overfishing the world’s oceans is not a new one to me. I knew that the depletion of many fish populations due to overfishing has been a big problem for quite a while, but I had not really seen the immensity of negative effects that stem from it. Not only has overfishing caused the extinction of some fish species that were being harvested, it has left a wake of destruction in its path.  In a class that I am taking this semester the professor showed us a video concerning the problems that are involved with overfishing. Fish are being harvested faster than their numbers can replenish. Advancements in technology have enabled fishermen to locate exactly where to find even a single fish of the kind they are looking for. This direct targeting gives the fish no fighting chance of being able to escape today’s fishermen. Even with the ability to find a specific species of fish, the amount of other species that are harmed in the process is devastating. Fishermen only want the specific fish they are trying to sell, so when other animals get caught in the nets they are usually tossed back over this side of the boat dead as bycatch. Sharks, sea lions, dolphins, turtles, rays, crabs, birds, other fish species, and many more animals can be caught in the nets unwanted, so their dead carcasses are tossed back into the ocean in startling amounts. This is a huge waste of life and causes all kinds of problems. Some methods used to collect fish can be very destruction on the ocean habitats as well. In simple terms a bottom trawler rakes a net along the sea floor, collecting and destroying everything in its path. Fragile coral reefs are completely  desecrated by this. So many abundant oceanic habitats depend coral reefs and they are being destroyed by this wasteful method of fishing. It is all done in the name of money. Sometimes it seems that the more I learn about humanity and its greed, the more disgusted I am by  everything. How do people not see how destructive we are?

bycatch that gets dumped back in the ocean……



  1. megvarde · February 21, 2016

    This is definitely an important subject because there is no need to harm other species when fishing for fish. I remember I did a project on overfishing in high school and tried to create a solution that would help. I thought that maybe there should be a limit as to how much fishing can be done in area at one time because the population needs to regrow after many members are removed. Also, I think that with the new technology, there should hopefully be a smaller impact on other wildlife that are not meant to be caught. It’s important to show people the amount of waste being generated and how it can effect us and the ecosystem that we live in.
    I think that it is also important for fishermen to understand the use of trawling because the nets that are being used are wiping out whole habitats that are home to other wildlife and also play a crucial role in our ecosystem. Hopefully, one day there will be a solution to make everyone happy!


  2. andrewwingfield · February 23, 2016

    This is a great example of how human ingenuity + greed can lead to the life sources on which humans depend. I agree with you that it is really discouraging. One of the big challenges with overfishing is that creating sustainable management plans involves international collaboration, trust, and enforcement. That’s hard, but of course worth pursuing, considering the alternative.


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