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The Unsustainability Of The Fishing Industry And Solutions

2254 words - 9 pages

The fishing industry has been an important one since the dawn of mankind, being a rich and reliable food source. It has changed and evolved overtime but still kept its core purpose. In the past the problem may have been catching sea life, today it is sustainability. Our population is far too high and demand too great for the industry to keep up. At this pace we will strip the oceans of its fish and be left with none. A solution is necessary, as this problem will not fix itself.
Sustainability is the capability of something to be continued indefinitely, with few effects to the environment. This means that if fishing was sustainable, we should be able to fish the same amount of fish, using the same methods, to supply our hungry population. However this is not the case; we know that the rate at which we consume/ use fish is significantly greater than the rate at which fish reproduce (fish are a renewable source, since they replenish themselves through reproduction ). Also, the methods we use to fish are damaging to the environment, slowing hindering fish population and other species. Furthermore, we know that our population and the economy are growing; therefore the demand will grow significantly alongside the two. All these factors combined clearly show that the fishing industry is not sustainable.
There are two main methods that we use to exploit this resource (fish), and those are the more “traditional” methods, and aquaculture. The “traditional” methods can be broken down into 3 categories, net based fishing, hook based fishing and crustacean fishing. These names are very generalized, but encompass a variety of techniques.
Hook based fishing techniques are usually scaled up versions of the standard fishing rod. One that is different is the harpoon, which is gun that fires a spear meant to kill larger animals. These methods tend to be very environmentally sustainable but are not economically sustainable, because of their selective nature, and low by catch rate. Since they are not economically sustainable (and laborious), they are becoming less and less common. Overall these methods will eventually die out to make way for more modern techniques.
Crustacean fishing is in a similar situation to hook based fishing. It is more profitable, but is similarly slow and laborious. It is very environmental sustainable now, there are a variety of rules, regulations and practices put in place to make sure of it. For example, biodegradable traps ensure that if fishers forget about the trap, it will not harm the environment too much. Another is that the traps themselves are designed so that large, prime breeding lobsters and young lobsters cannot get in or can easily escape, respectively. The problem is that the price of crustacean is going down rapidly, for example lobster used to be worth around $6 (2006) per pound, and now the prices can be as low as $2.20 per pound . Though demand is high, fishers are finding it difficult to...

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