Introduction to Overfishing

Hi, I’m Chloe, one author of our group based blog. Although currently studying English Literature I am researching the human impacts on biodiversity and zooming in further on certain aspects of the impacts. A lot of you may be thinking ‘What does an English student know about Biodiversity?’ and if I’m honest, I didn’t know a lot about it until now. I feel as though this is what makes my perspective as unique to our blog as it’s an issue that needs to be raised amongst our generation more frequently. Over the course of the next few weeks, my blog will focus around the topic of overfishing within our oceans, researching the negative impacts, what is being done to help the problem and what we can do as individuals to help this issue.

Firstly, what is overfishing you ask? Overfishing is the decreasing stock of fish in a certain area due to excessive amounts of fishing. Within my first post I will focus predominantly on the Indian Ocean, however be aware that the effects of overfishing can be seen in most oceans covering a broad area. It has been found in recent years that 52% of fish stocks are fully exploited and only 1% is recovering from depletion, leading us to face two major problems regarding overfishing;

  1. We are losing entire ecosystems as well as species.
  2. We are losing a valuable food source that we depend on social, dietary and economic reasons.

An example of the true extent of overfishing would be in Newfoundland, Canada in 1992 whereby the beginning of fishing season came to a sudden halt when all cod seemed to disappear due to overfishing. Still many years later these communities are still recovering from the impacts. Overfishing has also taken its toll on marine biodiversity and the food web as species such as sharks, marine mammals and sea birds are caught and killed and left viable to the devastating effects on the oceans.

Just think your favourite local fish n chips, gone.

Throughout the coming weeks I shall aim to focus further on these impacts and what organisations or management schemes have been made in order to overcome or prevent these problems developing further. In the meantime, keep informed and spread the word!

Research:

Kosher, P. 2007 – Overfishing – A global disaster. Http://overfishing.org/pages/what_can_i_do_to_help.php

Michel, D and Stickler, R. 2012 – Plenty of Fish in the Sea? Food security in the Indian Ocean, The Diplomat. Http://thediplomat.com/2012/08/plenty-of-fish-in-the-sea-food-security-in-the- Indian-ocean/

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