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Climate Change On Aquatic Life Essay

674 words - 3 pages

Over 70% of the world’s fish species have been fully exploited, many to the point of no recovery. Of the remaining 30%, most are beginning to be over-exploited. There is not enough regulation of fisheries at this time. Attempts to impose strict rules has led fisherman to engage in illegal and unreported activities in order to maintain their livelihood. The maximum sustainable yield of the entire ocean has leveled off at 80 million metric tons of fish caught annually. That number, however, is only what has been reported. The estimates of our current annual yield, with unwanted, unreported bycatch included, greatly exceed that number. The variability of fish stock recruitment from year to year depends on so many variables that it’s like trying to predict the weather six months in advance. It’s extremely difficult to know what a sustainable level of fishing is; each individual species is different. I find myself doubting even fisheries that claim to be fishing sustainable numbers of fish. Even if one company is fishing one species sustainably, there is sure to be another company that is not. As a result of overfishing, we have destabilized countless ecosystems that depend on a delicate balance between species.

Aquaculture is a developing business that has a promising future. Almost 50% of the world’s fish food supply now comes from fish farms. This sounds like a great alternative to overfishing wild stocks, but it comes with its own ramifications. Poor management and minimal regulation has led to several negative consequences. The nutrients, chemicals, and medication that these fish farms use easily pollute the surrounding ocean. It’s inevitable that some fish will escape into the wild, where they outcompete native fish and spread potent diseases. It’s a worse issue than one would think.

Ghost fishing as a result of abandoned fishing gear is another huge issue. Discarded nets and other equipment continues to catch marine species as they drift through the ocean. Predators, attracted by the helpless prey, become...

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