Alaskan Fishing Essay

1102 words - 5 pages

Answer: Fishing in the Atlantic has had massive problems whereas fishing in Alaska is doing very well. This is due to many factors that led to sustainable fishing. Practices such as, strong commercial fishing industry support for conservation minded rules. Also, the Alaskan people strong support conservation measures. After Alaska became a state, it amended its constitution to allow direct Alaskan control over commercial fishing. This led to strong Alaskan government regulations, large habitat conservation areas, banning of bottom trawling, sustainable harvest of fish based on good scientific catch limits, careful and frequent monitoring of the fish populations, requiring government observers onboard vessels to verify the fish that are caught.

Fishing in the Atlantic Ocean has had many problems. A particularly bad example is the Northwest Atlantic cod population, which crashed due to overfishing.[1] Simply there are too many boats hunting down too few fish. One other problem in the Atlantic is too much pollution. However, the biggest problem is overfishing. This overfishing is due to new fishing and boat technology, a strong demand for cheap fish, greed of fishing companies, not enough foresight combined with very few real government regulations especially in international waters. There was a technological advance in fishing practices and fishing boats. For example, boat engines became bigger, nets became bigger and able to go deeper, sonar and radar helped fisherman accurately target the fish, huge boats with massive refrigeration systems meant that these boats could stay out for very long time and the only limit to how much fish they could catch was how many fish the boat could hold.[2] The worst example of new fishing technology is deep-sea bottom trawler ships that destroy the ocean floors when they catch their fish.[3] All of these new technologies made fishing easier and more efficient but they took too many fish which resulted a major ecological disasters like near-extinction of the North Atlantic cod which was previously the largest commercially caught fish in the world. [4]

In contrast to destructive fishing practices in the Atlantic, Alaska is doing very well because of many factors. The first factor is historical, in the Atlantic Ocean there is a long history of fishing even from the beginning fisherman had to come up with methods to get around the king’s rules. These rules only benefitted but they didn’t benefit the fisherman. So, as a result there is a long history of not wanting governmental regulation and getting around the rules. But in Alaska, there is a short history of modern commercial fishing methods and before Alaska was a state it was badly abused and the fisherman saw the resulting problems. Therefore, when Alaska the fisherman had a different mentality and they wanted strong government regulations.[5]

For many years, non-Alaskans controlled salmon fishing and salmon canning, more recently...

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