Overfishing: This term is defined as catching or removing fish species from oceans, lakes, rivers, or any marine ecosystem at a rate that threatens the diversity of fishes. The fish species cannot replenish over a specified time span due to overfishing and the fish population ultimately decreases.
Fish Stock Depletion: This is defined as a decrease in fish stock due to overfishing and over-exploitation of water bodies that lead to the catchment of unwanted fishes and reducing production capacity.
CAUSES OF OVERFISHING
The human population is increasing and human activities are threatening the marine ecosystem. The causes of overfishing are mentioned below.
1. Appetite For Seafood: Overall global demand for food is increasing. Overfishing is directly linked with a growing appetite for seafood.
2. Economic Development: Many countries are utilizing their marine resources for economic growth and development.
3. The livelihood of Nearby People: Marine and freshwater resources are sources of livelihood for nearby people. Trawling results in the catchment of unwanted fishes.
4. Mismanagement of Fisheries: Uneducated fishermen and the absence of ownership for marine water bodies are also leading to overfishing.
5. Unregulated Fishing Activities: Another important cause of overfishing is unregulated and illegal fishing activities that disturb the fish population.
CAUSES OF FISH STOCK DEPLETION
Fish stock is depleting that highlights reduction in seafood. The causes of fish stock depletion are mentioned below.
1. Ocean Acidification: Ocean acidification is one of the causes of fish stock depletion. Fish diversity is reducing due to changing marine environment.
2. Global Warming: Human activities are causing global warming and the rising temperature of Earth is also threatening marine biodiversity.
3. Climate Change: Climate change is happening all around the globe. Extreme weather events are inducing changes in water bodies.
4. Ocean Warming: Increasing the temperature of the ocean surfaces is disturbing marine habitats and altering the survival of the fish population.
5. Marine Pollution: Water pollution and marine pollution are killing fishes in the marine and freshwater ecosystem. The reduction in fish biodiversity is causing fish stock depletion.
EFFECTS OF OVERFISHING AND FISH STOCK DEPLETION
Effects of overfishing and fish stock depletion are mutual and described below.
1. Biodiversity Loss: Overfishing without any doubt has a direct consequence and that is biodiversity loss.
2. Coral Reef Destruction: Reduction in fish diversity is associated with coral reef destruction and collapse of the unique coral reef ecosystems.
3. Loss of Livelihood For Nearby People: People living nearby water bodies suffer livelihood losses due to the unavailability of desired fishes.
4. Economic Losses: Decreasing fish population and depleting fish stock are show impacts on the economy and resulting in economic losses.
5. Marine Ecosystem Degradation: Marine ecosystem is degraded by human activities. Loss of fish species will result in environmental catastrophe.
6. Disturbance in Food Chain: Overfishing and fish stock depletion is impacting the food chain and sustainability of fisheries.
SOLUTIONS TO OVERFISHING AND FISH STOCK DEPLETION
Solutions to overfishing and fish stock depletion are described below.
1. Sustainable Fishing Activities: Sustainable practices of fishing would less likely damage fish population and diversity.
2. Adequate Management of Fisheries: The government can issue management strategies that include key points of sustainable fisheries.
3. Establish Marine Protected Areas: Establishing and increasing marine protected areas could be a possible solution to the presented problem.
4. Avoid Trawling and Overfishing: It is important that trawling should be avoided that might catch unwanted marine life.
5. Habitat Restoration and Protection: The fish population can be restored by habitat restoration and protection.
6. Food Waste Reduction: There is a dire need for food waste reduction. The reason for overfishing might be discarded seafood.
Protection of the marine ecosystem is necessary. Natural resources that are used as food sources need sustainable management. The world has agenda to follow sustainable goals. Nevertheless, the daily approaches in life should include sustainability. What we are leaving for future generations will make a big difference. Nobody would prefer to live in a degraded and polluted environment.
Also, check out Pakistani Local Fishes and their Health Benefits
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– MS Environmental Science
– Content Writer
Researcher, Nature Lover, and Environmentalist