Fishing In The North Atlantic Essay

6202 words - 25 pages

Fishing in the North Atlantic


Ocean fishes have been consumed by humans beyond their maximum sustainable yields for years and the Atlantic cod and squid are two examples. Cods were primarily overfished to commercial extinction. Other variables were also examined to see if they contribute to the declining population. Water temperature was the natural phenomenon that may be responsible for poor egg hatching. Human causes such as increased UV radiation from depleted ozone and bottom trawling disturbance were considered. Trawling disturbance had the worst effect while the other factors were questionable. As the cod vanished, the commercial fisher turned to squid to continue their way of life. Government policy and economics had a great deal to do with the continuing overfishing pattern of wiping out one species and then turn to another. In the end, there is no real solution which accommodates both ecology and unchanged societal uses at the same time.


It was believed that 500 years ago, Irish settlers went to Newfoundland not for the religious freedom there, but the fertile fish banks near the shore(Pollack, 1995). This was all but history now. The overfishing crisis took on headlines back in the early 1990s. The fish pack waters in the north Atlantic were rapidly removed for profit until the fish population was decimated. The current seafood production and human dependence upon it are enormous. In many third world countries, seafoods are the primary source of protein for human consumption. According to the offical website of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the seafood consumption in the U.S. remained steady with Americans consuming 3.90 billion pounds of domestic and imported seafood in 1996, or 14.8 pounds per person. Americans have consumed approximately 15 pounds of seafood each year since 1990. As a first world country, we consume a first class quantity of seafood as well. Overfishing of marine resources jeopardizes not just our existence, but they are also vital in supporting various ecosystems. In this paper, a number of research articles and other review articles were examined to compose a picture of the overfishing crisis. The recent developments of Atlantic cod and squid are discussed in more detail to provide a pattern that may lead to empty oceans in the future.

Accounting for fish in the ocean.

There are many methods to account for the number of fish in the ocean. However, there are many uncertainties within any models of assessment. The reliability of instruments and the weather condition during survey have great influence over the results (Smith and Gavaris, 1993). The mathematics involved and the interpretation of the numbers is very difficult to comprehend and are beyond the scope of this paper. However, in one 1997 journal article, C. J. Corkett criticized the commonly used Graham-Schaeder model of fish accounting. In general, he discredited...

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