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The Birth Of Fish; The Death Of Oceans

3692 words - 15 pages

The Birth of Fish; The Death of Oceans


Life and death are themselves opposites; then again in our oceans, life sometimes causes death. Over the past few decades, the demand for edible seafood has sky rocketed, resulting in the formation of aquacultures and overfishing. As of now, the two greatest threats to our marine resources result from overfishing and water pollution. Commercial fishing targets key fish species, resulting in an imbalance of the marine ecosystem. In response to the near elimination of these species, an industry has developed to raise these species in farm communities. It was the initial belief of many that aquacultures would help offset the demand for more seafood. However, the result of fish farming has only contributed to the depletion of the fish population and to the pollution of the marine ecosystem.

With only limited regulations placed upon fishing companies, they are basically able to have free range over the oceans. Because of this, there have been severe effects on many fish species. Even with regulations such as the law of the sea, which states that a country bordering the ocean has rights to the fishing areas within two hundred nautical miles of its shores, there are considerable abuses. In Pauly and Watson’s article, it states that the preservation of the country’s fisheries is up to the country itself. The country may also give out rights to other countries to fish its waters. When this occurs, there is a great chance the fleets from other countries will attempt to “garner as much fish as they can” (Pauly, par. 7). These fleets will also have a disregard as far as the preservation of the marine habitat below such as the reefs (Pauly, Counting The Last Fish).

Overfishing disrupts much of the marine ecosystem. Fishing fleets targeting certain types of fish in certain areas will put the food chain into a downward spiral. Overfishing also disrupts the hierarchy in the food chain as well, since many of the big game fish are targeted by these companies. When this occurs, fishing fleets then start a process known as fishing down, which is a phrase that was started by Pauly (Pauly, par. 12). Because of overfishing, some members of society have decided to farm raise fish for the consumption by humans.

Fish farming, otherwise known as aquaculture, was started in hopes of preserving the oceans and providing a reliable source of seafood. In some instances, it does wonders; in other ways it has hurt the oceans greatly. For certain fish species, such as the vegetarian and shellfish eaters, it makes sense to farm them. For fish such as salmon and other carnivorous fish, it is highly inefficient to farm them. Other byproducts of fish farming include the production of waste, the displacing of natural breeding habits, the spreading of disease, and the addition of other pollutants into the ocean (Pros, par. 3). There is an importance in analyzing the differences between the pros and cons...

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