sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : When is an Ocean not an Ocean? - When it has no Fish.

When is an Ocean not an Ocean? - When it has no Fish.

'Fishing - a way of life for thousands of years. Now it’s under threat'    .
Most cruising sailors love to troll for fish, or throw in a line when anchored.

It's good fun, although sailing would still be sailing without the fish. However, many of the world's coastal populations depend on heavily fish as their main diet, and a lack of fish would spell disaster for the world.

So when scientific studies show the fish are fast disappearing, it's understandably alarming.


The major culprit is overfishing -- a non-sustainable practice in which the removal of fish outpaces their ability to reproduce. This can, and does occur in any body of water from a pond to our vast oceans. According to www.overfishing.org, an independent source of information about the ocean threats, notes, 'a total of almost 80% of the world's fisheries are fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse.'

The severe depletion or removal of a species from an ecosystem can also have drastic effects on many other species, as well as on the ecosystem as a whole. Although many scientists consider this a major problem facing our oceans today, it is often reversible simply by giving an imperiled stock enough downtime to heal and replenish.


Fish Trawler followed by thousands of birds -  .. .  

Commercial fishing, which was once largely an industry of small, close-knit fishing communities, is now an orchestrated force of high-tech fishing fleets replete with state-of-the-art technologies such as fish-finding sonar, onboard processing and packing plants, and enormous freezing systems.

With such massive machinery afloat, it is a surprise that any fish could find a way to thrive. As species becomes depleted and is no longer viable, fishermen must root out replacements. Once considered “trash fish,” species such as monkfish, sharks, and squid now prove quite valuable. So valuable, in fact, they now also run the risk of falling victim to overfishing. Enough overfishing inevitably leads to job loss, which will hurt both the commercial fishing fleet and the greater marine-dependent economy that draws direct and indirect benefits from this industry.


Fish Bottom trawlers -  .. .  
Along with overfishing, mortality caused by the discarding of ‘bycatch’ (unwanted species caught while fishing for the target species) also has the potential to negatively affect marine ecosystems. Perhaps the best-known case of bycatch was the trapping of dolphins in tuna nets that drew public attention in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For a variety of reasons—limited space on vessels, permits, size, lack of market value—bycatch is typically tossed back overboard, sometimes dead or dying. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one in four untargeted animals caught in fishing gear dies.

In addition to dolphins, other species such as sea turtles, seals, whales, sea birds (including the endangered albatross), skates, sharks, and fish accidentally become bycatch in the world’s commercial fisheries. The implementation of gear modifications (e.g. turtle-excluder devices and long-line “streamers”) has helped to reduce the rate of bycatch in some fisheries. However, in many commercial fisheries bycatch remains a major issue.


Commercial fishing can also inflict negative impacts on marine habitats. Bottom trawls, which are massive nets dragged along the seafloor, indiscriminately scoop-up whatever is in their path and can severely damage corals and seagrasses, as well as alter structural formations on the seafloor. Fish and shellfish need these places to hide, feed, and most importantly, to breed. Fitted with “rockhoppers” (often old tires) and “iron doors,” this type of fishing gear crushes vital habitat, leaving behind a desolate, feature-less seafloor. Unfortunately, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium, once damaged, these living seafloors (including sea sponges and coral) may take centuries to recover fully.


Traditional Fishing boat -  .. .  
This high impact activity also comes with an enormous opportunity cost as researchers are only now discovering tremendous medical potential amidst the biodiversity of the deep ocean floor. Putting this impact into perspective, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council the area of the ocean floor leveled by bottom trawling is 150 times larger than the forest areas clear-cut each year worldwide.

The actions of individuals can make a difference and effect change, and it all starts with knowledge and education. Know which species are in danger and adjust your purchases accordingly, as this can affect stores’ purchasing habits that in turn affect fishing practices in the ocean. The next time you are in the fish market or a restaurant, ask where the fish comes from and how it was caught.

This encourages the purveyor to learn more about their product, and draws attention to increased consumer demand for sustainably harvested fish. It is simple economics -- supply and demand. If you’re mindful of the ecological impacts of your preferences then many more species stand a chance of survival.




by Blackwattle Studios

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=52099

3:53 AM Mon 22 Dec 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






























2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii




































America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off   
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3   
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC   
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes   
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1   
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac   
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video   
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up   
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany   
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2   
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT