Over fishing Problem
Millions of people across the world rely on marine creatures to get food and some
income. This shows that there are numerous fish and creatures in the sea that are caught every
day in order to satisfy the rising appetite and needs of human beings. Over fishing refers to the
catching of too much fish to the extent that the system cannot support hence leading to overall
system degradation. It can also be described as the use of oceans in a non-sustainable manner
(Daly et al., 2016). Everyone knows that fish and other sea creatures are not infinite. Marine
scientists claim that the current threat our marine ecosystem is facing is the largest of all the
environmental risks the world is experiencing (ARC Center of Excellence Coral Reef Studies.
(2015, April 21). This paper will address over fishing as a challenge and some of the
consequences of over fishing the focus being on the effect on biodiversity, breaking of the food
chain, decline in the coastal economy and the rise in unemployment.
One of the effects of over fishing is that biodiversity is affected, and the food chain is
broken. The predators and large fish such as sharks are the primary victims in this case (Daly et
al., 2016). This is because the big fish are usually the once with a lot of demand, and they are
also easy to catch (Hilborn, 2016). Everyone knows that fish and other sea creatures are not
infinite. However, fishers have become so careless in their practices in that they are capturing
fish at a higher rate compared to their rate of reproduction hence replenishing the oceans (Finely,
2017). Most fish species are endangered and will soon become extinct due to excessive fishing
(Probyn, 2016). Since the large fish feeds on the small fish, their absence means there is no
predator to eat the small fish. This translates to an excessive increase in the number of small fish
like the plankton-reliant fish. The ultimate result is a broken food chain, which then affects the
entire marine creatures (Government of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2009). When the
OVER FISHING PROBLEM
food chain is broken, the entire food web is affected. The interrelation within a food web is much
intricate to the extent that continuous disruptions occur when one species in the ecosystem is
affected. Over fishing is thus disastrous to the marine ecology since it interrupts the food chain
Over fishing plays a significant negative role in the economy. A good example where the
economy is being affected negatively is the Cod fishery at the Newfoundland in Canada
(Palkovacs, 2011). The depletion of Cod led to the fall of the industry and 40000 people lost
their source of livelihood. The coastal economy has also declined to lead to a rise in the level of
unemployment. The fishing industry provides jobs for so many coastal families enabling them to
earn a livelihood (Ariel, 2016). Due to over fishing, marine creature has decline hence leading to
loss of jobs as there are no fish to capture. Fishers have lost their source of livelihood hence
driving them to other activities. The number of jobs lost every year and the rate at which they are
being lost is alarming. If a fisher is the breadwinner in his family and he loses his job, it means
suffering to the whole family and lack of education for children. This will, in turn, lead to food
scarcity, economic insecurity, and malnutrition. Fish has also been the primary source of protein
in the diet for many people. Statistics shows that over fishing leads to loss of 100000 jobs every
year. The situation is likely to worsen if measure will not be put in place to regulate this vice
(Roberts, 2002). Fish being inadequate means change of diets, which in turn affects people's
health. As stated earlier, so many people earn their livelihood through fishing, while others rely
on it for nutritional value (Costello, 2017). Over fishing has led to the depletion of seafood hence
affecting the day to day lifestyle of fishers and the eating habits of some people (Vinson, 2019).
Most fishers are therefore left jobless, which is a big blow to the economy of any given country.
The effects of over fishing on marine biodiversity are adverse. Every aquatic animal and
plant plays a unique role in ensuring ecological balance. For marine creatures to thrive, they need
a particular condition and specific nutrients, for which most rely upon other living things (Zhou
et al., 2015). A decline in biodiversity leads to a subsequent reduction in the functioning and
stability of the ecosystem (UNSW, 2016). Biodiversity loss is not only harmful to the marine
species but also to human beings. The role of biodiversity in human nutrition is critical due to its
influence on food production throughout the world. Biodiversity and nutrition are linked at many
levels: the species available in the ecosystem, production of food as a service, and the species
genetic diversity. Over fishing dramatically increases the variation in the nutritional composition
between the available foods (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2018).
Studies reveal that ecosystem functioning and stability depends on the richness of species and
their composition. Therefore, over fishing has adverse effects on the marine ecosystem, and it is
Over fishing has both short term and long term effects. As discussed above, the effect on
biodiversity and breaking the smooth flow of the food chain is the main problem. The systems of
the marine, therefore, require environmental policies, laws, as well as strategies aimed at
regulating fishing and fishing methods. Over fishing should now be a concern for all the
governments in the world as well as the non-governmental bodies (Leong et al, 2018). The
challenge needs to be addressed before it worsen and reaches a point of no return. Although
solving this problem is not easy, collective efforts from major countries will eventually make it
possible to replenish the oceans with enough sea creatures and finally restore the ecological
OVER FISHING PROBLEM
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