Humans are depleting the earth’s natural resources. We are using our resources at an unsustainable rate. One of our greatest resources is now beginning to deplete because of our growing population. This resource provides for us food, climate regulation, economy, transportation, and medicine. This very valuable resource is the ocean. By over fishing, certain fishing practices, marine pollution and habitat destruction we are diminishing our most valuable natural resource. The ocean provides for us many valuable resources we cannot replace, therefore we need to make a change.
“Ocean overfishing is simply the taking of wildlife from the sea at rates too high for fished species to replace themselves. The earliest overfishing occurred in the early 1800s when humans, seeking blubber for lamp oil, decimated the whale population.” (overfishing) By the mid 1900’s common fish such as Atlantic Cod, Herring, and California Sardines were on the brink of extinction due to overharvesting. In the 20th century international efforts were focused on harvesting vitamin rich food at an affordable price. Therefore an international rise in fish occurred. In 1989 90 million tons of fish and various bycatch were taken from the ocean. Since 1989 fish populations have not been able to rebound therefore harming the environment, and the economy. A scientific study in 2003 reported “industrial fishing had reduced the number of large ocean fish to just 10 percent of their pre-industrial population.” (overfishing) With the collapse of these once large fish populations fishermen have started to fish in deeper waters. With commercial fleets fishing deeper into the ocean the balance of the oceans biological system is beginning to become upset. A 2006 study reported if our overfishing practices continue then by the year 2048 all of our world’s fisheries will be depleted. Overfishing has been a major issue for some time now. It is unsettling to find if we continue at this rate the world could possibly not have any fish for food.
Several fishing practices are known to harm the oceans environment as well as oceanic mammals. The most damaging practice is bottom trawling. Bottom trawling is “a fishing method that drags a large net across the sea floor, is the most destructive to our oceans.” (destructive)Bottom trawling is a practice used to capture bottom dwellers such as crabs, shrimp, and cod. Due to bottom trawling being unselective, there is a large amount of bycatch caught including coral. Bycatch can result in 90% of a trawl’s total catch. Bottom trawling can permanently damage the marine ecosystem due to the accidental catch of coral.
Marine pollution is another environmental hazard to the ocean. “Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities.” (Garces) These activities include oil spills, fertilizer runoff, trash being disposed incorrectly, sewage flow, and disposal of toxic chemicals. Thirty six percent of oil contamination in the ocean comes from rivers...