The Decline of Our Sea- a Paper on Overfishing

The Decline of Our Sea SCI 275 Environmental Science Steve List-Instructor The fishermen across the world invest their lives into their boats and their men. They venture out into the open water and catch all that they can. The fisherman knows that this is what all the other fishermen are doing as well; it is a survival of the fittest. The man with the most fish wins, they get the biggest check. The world is home to six billion people and there are not enough fish in the seas to feed the world.

According to the video, there is a problem with overfishing and the ocean is being harvested of all its fish faster than it can repopulate. There are not enough fish left to allow this resource to thrive for our future. According to Scientist Jeremy Jackson, it is reversible; there is still hope. Overfishing is not just fisheries taking fish from the sea; although that is the larger part of it. Fisheries also bycatch, which means they accidently catch other fish when fishing for certain species. Bycatching is causing depletion of other species and it is wasteful.

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Fisheries also harm habitats and breeding grounds by fishing and dragging equipment and nets. The fisheries create pollution as does the rest of the world, causing severe damage to our oceans. Climate changes also serve as an issue. Water temperatures are changing and causing damage to fragile ecosystems. All of these factors are taken into place as we create a plan, and help repopulate and save our oceans. We must sustain and maintain this resource for our future generations. My plan is to utilize a catch share system. This system has been studied for many years now in the United States.

This plan will help the fisheries, save jobs and help our oceans to provide for a great future. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has researched the plan and stands behind it to save the fish and the fisheries. Fishermen will be required to meet a conservation goal and will be accountable for what they catch. They will be allowed to fish in certain zones and catch a certain number of fish. With this plan in effect, the fisheries will be able to still fish and the resource can replenish itself. It is a win-win situation for both parties.

Fisherman may view the plan negatively, believing that they are being too restricting with a catch share plan. Fisheries make money from what the catch, if they are limited; it may mean less money for them now. The fishermen have to see the plan as a long term goal. The plan has already worked in the Gulf of Mexico according to the EDF. The plan was initiated for red snapper in January of 2007. Fisherman in that area are now able to fish year round for the first time in a decade, gaining 25% more in earnings and bycatch is down by 70%.

Environmentalists will see the plan as a positive approach to saving our oceans. There will be fewer fishermen on the water, therefore less pollution. The fishermen will have restrictions and limits on the number of fish they catch, therefore allowing replenishment of the fish naturally. This may be looked at negatively as well; there will be a decrease in jobs in the fisheries. Manpower will be reduced as less fish can be caught. As of now, over 200 million people worldwide are employed by fisheries.

The environmentalists and the fisheries will need to work together to make the catch share plan work. The two must realize that it will not happen overnight and it will take time to reverse the effects we have caused. As the catch share plan is put in place; we will work in zones allowing fisheries to catch and reduce bycatch, thus reducing the chances of eliminating other species of sea life. As time goes on, the fish will repopulate and harvesting can be opened a little more at a time. This plan will increase revenues for fisheries since certain fish are diminishing and will replenish later.

The catch share plan will allow fisheries to stay open; jobs will not be eliminated and communities worldwide can enjoy the nourishment of the catch. With the plan in effect the fish population can repopulate and communities can thrive on the additional earnings that large catches can bring in when zones are opened. People all over the world can still continue to apply for fishing licenses as leisure and can enjoy a wide range of fish species in their diet. With the catch share plan in place, we can keep fisheries open, create new jobs, and allow the fragile oceans to thrive.

We can reverse the damage that we have caused on our ecosystem and make a difference for generations to come. References Burnham, Katharine (2008). New Study Offers Viable Solution to Overfishing. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from http://www. edf. org/pressrelease. cfm? contentID=8458 Jeantheau, Mark (2005). Pretty Mermaids are Always Over Fishing for Compliments: The Causes and Effects of Overfishing. Retrieved June 19, 2009, from http://www. grinningplanet. com/2005/06-07/overfishing-article. htm

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