Overfishing decreases the fish population and affects the biodiversity of the ocean. It also affects the economic aspect of the fishing community. Billions of people rely on fish as a source of protein and also for their livelihood.
It was always believed that the ocean was a limitless bounty of food but poor fishing practices have created a situation of overfishing. More than 85% of worldwide fisheries are in need of strict regulations since they have been pushed beyond their limits due to overfishing. Illegal fishing is a dimension of overfishing which affects small and large scale market, national and international waters. This occurs when people don’t abide by regulations put in place as to location or quantity of fish which may be caught, whether that be type of fish or within a certain timeframe or other regulations in place to help protect the marine life.
Illegal fishing a large component of overfishing by depleting the populations. Modern fishing technology was created to catch as many fish as possible and as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately it is also very effective which is causing problems at the expense of the ocean ecosystem. Two of these methods include ghost fishing and bycatch, both of which end of hurting the ecosystem by ‘accident’. Fishing traps and nets are built from strong materials to make them durable to last for years but is good and bad.
Often times, nets or traps become lost due to storms or negligence. These traps/nets will continue to catch fish, the fish become trapped and die. Then these fish become bait for other fish, who in turn become trapped and die. This is called ghost fishing and may be up to 30% as large as annual landings in some areas. All methods of fishing have the potential to catch species that are not the intended catch, called bycatch which is the most widespread of the technology-related problems.Because of all of these incidents the ocean floor and the marine wildlife has been greatly impacted by all of these reasons and such greatly disrupted the biodiversity of the ocean floor.
Some worldwide stricter regulations around all of these topics are greatly needed if we want to maintain and help revitalize our oceans and marine life.