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Discuss the causes of overfishing and evaluate the attempts to remedy this problem

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Discuss the causes of overfishing and evaluate the attempts to remedy this problem George A. Every day, two thirds of the world?s population around the world rely on fish and seafood as a direct source of nutrition or a means of income. Now, more than ever before, our oceans are under pressure to meet the needs of growing populations in developing countries and a growing appetite for fish and seafood in developed nations. Overfishing occurs when fish and other marine species are caught at a rate faster than they can reproduce. We now know without a doubt that the fish in the ocean are a finite resource. Many marine scientists now believe that overfishing is the biggest threat to the ocean environment, even greater than that of other human caused disruptions like increasing pollution. The high demand for fish, along with more effective fishing techniques, has lead to many species of fish around the world being depleted, making them commercially extinct. Overfishing is a phenomenon that bears a striking resemblance to many ongoing actions undertaken by major industries, whether from deforestation to extracting oil, it seems to keep occurring and reoccurring despite the approximately 70% of the worlds stocks that are in need of management. Even with project fish populations to be fully depleted by 2048 according to the FAO, fishing still remains at a constant 75 million catches per year despite such obvious warnings given. ...read more.


According to another UN report, an estimated $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from the country's coastline each year. This is the devastating issue that has plagued the fishing industry for years. These foreign fishing fleets have been unstoppable and continue to fish however they please, despite such warnings of dangerously low levels in many fish species. A 2006 study published in the journal Science predicted that the current rate of commercial fishing would virtually empty the world's oceanic stocks by 2050. Yet, Somalia's seas still offer a particularly fertile zone for tuna, sardines and mackerel, and other species of seafood, including lobsters and sharks. These foreign fishing fleets have become savvy opportunists by taking advantage of these lawless, lightly enforced coastlines and maximize their potential profits by driving out the local fisherman which rightfully in many views, own the complete rights to the fish. There is such a lack of control in Somalia that the fish populations have reduced 75% over the past 10 years due to foreign fleets fishing illegally on these waters. In the face of this, impoverished Somalis living by the sea have been forced over the years to defend their own fishing expeditions out of ports such as Eyl, Kismayo, and Harardhere, which are now considered to be pirate gathering areas. Somali fishermen, whose industry earns up to 40% of Somalia's GDP, was and has always continued to be small-scale, lacking the advanced boats and ...read more.


Iceland has also deployed in total of 12 Polish-made trawlers equipped with GPS and sonar to monitor the number of its major fish species weekly. With Iceland relying on the fish industry for 83% of their GDP, it is essential that it must be heavily protected. The fisheries management in Iceland is primarily based on extensive research on the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem; decisions made on the conduct of fishing fleets and controlled catches on the basis of scientific advice, and effective monitoring and enforcement of the fisheries and the total catch. These are the main pillars of the Icelandic fisheries management intended to ensure responsible fisheries and the sustainability of the ocean?s natural resources. This management may well be just as strict as the sternness the Somalis show to foreign fishing fleets, however, Icelanders have created an effective and organized manner of fishing management that demands responsibility from foreign fishing companies. This demand of responsibility through correct enforcement is what will potentially save out fish species of today. It is not about enforcing restrictions through threats or potential violence, but by creating a management system which has a tight grip over fishing regulations, however, in Somalia's disadvantage, it's lack of capital to invest in these public services is what not only prevents them from tapping into a huge local fish industry, but also just protecting the basic rights these people have over their fish. ...read more.

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