The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

January 21, 2014

In Your Opinion: Over-fishing threatens ecosystem

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The Daily Star

---- — In today’s world the amount of fish being removed from the ocean by fishers is higher than ever before. The WWF reports that 53 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited while 32 percent are over-exploited, or depleted. This is called over-fishing and has caused several species to decrease to the point of extinction. 

Over-fishing may be the result of massive bycatch, which means that unwanted fish and other marine life is caught while commercial fisheries are trying to catch a specific species. Another result of over-fishing may be poor fishery management or pirate fishers who do not respect the laws or agreements of fishing.

As the fish population decreases, the commercial fleets begin to fish down, this practice is when they begin catching the fish found further down the food chain. The practice of fishing down disrupts the sea’s biology system, and it is predicted that if the big industries continue to fish down, by the year 2048 the world’s fisheries will collapse.

When regarding the future of the sea, writer Callum Roberts stated “Over-fishing is destabilizing the marine environment, contributing to the spread of anoxic dead zones and the increasing prevalence of toxic algal blooms …” Anoxic dead zones are the areas in oceans and large lakes that have low oxygen, which means that marine life in that area may not have the required oxygen to survive. These zones can be caused by human activities and others factors that deplete the oxygen sources. The toxic algal bloom is an algal bloom that produces natural toxins that are harmful to other organisms.

So, if all this is true, then why is it that we are still allowing the ocean’s ecosystem to be disturbed?

Alicia Thomas

Masonville

Thomas is a senior at Franklin Central School and is writing this letter for Stephen DeCarlo’s social studies class.