Declining Fish Stock Essay

Declining Fish Stock Whitney Deisher August 29, 2010 Michael Hammond-Todd SCI/275 The video Declining Fish Stock VLR is about the declining numbers of fish stock that is available in the oceans. There is a debate between the commercial fisheries and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography about the numbers of big fish in the ocean. A commercial fisherman Pete Dupuis feels that the ocean is big and we will never run out of big fish, Jeremy Jackson of Scripps of Institute of Oceanography feel we are kidding ourselves if everyone feels that we will never run out of fish.

Fish holds an important role in everyday life; it is a factor to employment and also is an important element in everyday life when served at meals in restaurants and at home. When certain ocean water species numbers decline to the where they are put on the endangered species list, a plan of action needs to be put in play before the numbers become too low. A complete ban of any kind of fishing on species when their numbers are to low would be the most effective way to go, but with that comes several down sides.

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One being that the fish may be imported from other countries, this will raise the price for the moderate or low income families, and this would put the price up so that they may not be able to afford it at all. This will also affect the commercial fisherman who is dependent on fishing as a way to make a living. In 1985, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service put a ban on all striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland, after some extensive research they found the numbers declining due to over fishing.

The ban was lifted in 1989, but however they put in effect limits with the commercial fisheries, a striped bass season was established, minimum fish lengths and a daily catch limits was put in effect. (www. fws. gov/ChesapeakeBay) With these limitations placed this species numbers still continue to increase every year. These types of examples need to followed by everyone and throughout the country.

As the case with swordfish, and a decrease in their numbers, if a plan of action is not in place, the swordfish can become an extinct marine animal. My plan would be to limit the days in which to fish for swordfish, limit it to 4 days a week. Also when a commercial fisherman applies for their license they are assigned only 2 days a week to fish, and add a limit to their catch per day. Swordfish season runs from August to December. A daily number and also size limitations need to be placed in affect. No more than 300 to be caught on a given day.

A female swordfish is fully mature in 4 to 5 years and males fully mature at 3 to 4 years old, the average weight of fully grown swordfish is 200 to 300 pounds, no swordfish under 175 lbs should be kept, this would allow the younger swordfish to be able to fully mature. Since swordfish are migratory animals, they don’t stay in one particular area, this type of plan needs to be acknowledging worldwide, but starting in the areas where swordfish is common for commercial fisherman is just the beginning for plan to be put in place.

Another consideration would be to completely ban recreational swordfish, limit it to commercial fisheries only. This plan will take place with the start of the next swordfish season, starting in August, and it will continue run for the next 5 years of even longer if the numbers don’t increase. The only exception would be if in the next 2 years the numbers don’t increase a complete ban of swordfishing may need to come into effect. This plan will have negative feedback from the commercial fisherman, especially when fishing is their main source of income.

Some steps they can take are on the days they are not swordfish, look at other opportunities to fish for other species. However, there is always that potential they will continue to fish for swordfish illegally when they are not supposed to, this will then create a black market for swordfish. Since swordfish is considered popular in the restaurant business, there are many ways to cook a swordfish, this would create a higher demand, raising the price on swordfish, and eventually this cost will be passed along to the consumer.

This could result to the point the consumer may not purchase swordfish as often. Environmentalist may not be as pleased with this solution either, they may want to see a complete ban instead of partial limits. This undoubtedly will have a major impact on all involved, the commercial fisherman, the food industry, and the consumer. Together we need to learn to live with limitations, with these limitations in place we are protecting a specific species, if we do not put these limitation into place, we eventually may not be able to continue to make a living or enjoy a fantastic meal.

However in the long run we are looking into the future and ensuring and enjoying the life we lead, as well as the well being with all animals on our plant, both in water and out of water. REFERENCES: Striped Base. (2009). , (), . Retrieved from http://www. fws. gov/ChesapeakeBay/striper. html The Truth About Swordfish. (1997). , (), . Retrieved from http://ca-seafood. ucdavis. edu/news/swftruth. htm Decline in Fish Stock. (1999). , (), . Retrieved from http://www. wri. org/publication/content/8385


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