“There are plenty of fish in the sea,” is a classic quote, but it may not be true for much longer. If we continue abusing and exploiting the wildlife living beneath our earth’s water. Ocean overfishing is simply the taking of wildlife from the sea at rates too high for fished species to replace themselves. This is a crisis continuing to happen every day and getting worse by the minute. We are all responsible for this, because of the selfishness and greed in all of us.
The oceans cover over three quarters of our planet. Their biodiversity is unmatched and they contain over 80 percent of all life on earth, mostly unexplored. Millions of people worldwide are depending on the oceans for their daily livelihoods. More and more all this is endangered because of ignorance and a lack of respect for the world.
Why Should We Care
Not only are fish levels decreasing year-by-year, species disappearing, and many other issues. Every time a mass amount of tuna, cod, or salmon is taken out of the water, every other fish is affected too. The food chain goes out of order with over population and endangered others, the migration of species are altered to adapt to healthier living conditions, and every fish pulled out of the water brings them just a little closer to extinction.
“In the 1900’s, our oceans contained at least six times more fish than in 2009”. (Overfishing.org. (2012). Overfishing. Retrieved April 17th from http://overfishing.org/pages/Overfishing_in_one_minute.php?w=pages) We are fishing down our own waters. We have enough fishing boats worldwide to provide another planet. Is it too late to stop overfishing and safe the fish? For some species such as the Bluefin tuna, it may already be too late to save extinction. Other fish still have the chance to be saved and given a healthy future to live and the time to raise population levels back up, if we start acting now.
Advocacy Group Involved
A major problem occurring with overfishing is the enforcement and fight against it. There is only one worldwide organization taking action to stop this crisis, the Unites Nations. The U.N has set several laws on fishing limits and capturing conditions, and deals consequences to any country breaking these laws. According to a 2008 UN report, “The world’s fishing fleets are losing (US) $50 billion each year through depleted stocks and poor fisheries management.”. The UN also hands out year long bans to any fishing company exploiting the rules, which Chinese fishing companies fell victim to last year.
The UN cant change everybody’s fishing decisions in the world though, we need too. If something doesn’t start to change immediately in the world, we wont have fish left to fish. Today’s generation needs to take action in order to start an effort for any type of change. Everybody says something needs to be done but we’re the only people who can make a difference, even if we wont be the ones to see it. Next generation may only see the start of a change, but the future needs our contribution today for any hope of fish in the sea.
What Can Be Done
As only one human being, only limited things can be done to stop this disaster. Be informed. Read up on the issues of overfishing and share your knowledge, try to get others interested. Know what you eat. If you avoid eating fish going extinct or fish that are victims to this over fishing then every dollar you don’t spend will make a little difference. The best option you have to make a change though, is to depend on and support the your peers, major companies, or anybody else looking to make a difference. Two hands will always work better then one. If you have people by your side to stop overfishing, more will listen, more will recognize and join, and more will be done to save the fish of our world.
The time to take the next step and stop the worlds overfishing is now, tomorrow may be too late, and we don’t have the fish to waste another day. “I believe citizens are beginning to realize that their birthright, a healthy ecosystem, has been stolen, and they want it back.”-Charles Clover. The problem that was created years ago is now our problem today, and needs to change now, because tomorrow may be too late.
Courtney from Study Moose
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