Overfishing: How It’s Killing the Ecosystem

Emma Begley, Staff Writer

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Overfishing is a serious problem facing ocean life across the world. It is a threat to not only our oceans, but also humanity as we know it. This is a world-wide crisis, making it imperative that seafood companies begin to commit to making certain that their products are sustainable.

In an article written by Dermot O’Gorman, the CEO of WWF Australia, he stated that “populations of fish and other marine vertebrates, including marine mammals, reptiles, and birds have halved since 1970”. This statistic should ignite compassion in the hearts of workers in this field of fish management and urge them to keep their fishing to a minimum.

As of today, the world consumes more fish per person than it ever has. It is not impossible to solve this problem, because it has already been done in Indonesia. The country cracked down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and it has paid off. Conservation efforts have skyrocketed in Indonesia once awareness was properly raised.

According to Onegreenplanet.org, “as of July 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 445 critically endangered fish species, including 87 which are tagged as possibly extinct.” It is crucial for us to recognize the extreme and detrimental threats that the ecosystem faces; the fewer fish in the ocean, the less food the larger marine animals have to survive on, leading to an imbalance in marine food webs.

Not only is overfishing killing our oceans and our ecosystem all-around, it is crippling societies, as declared by Zach Campbell in his article “Senegal’s Fishermen Say European Fishing is crippling them.” Industrial fishing has depleted their fish stocks, only further proving that we are overfishing to the point where fish species simply cannot sustain themselves and re-populate in time before they are harvested yet again.

Many countries and societies rely on the ocean as a main source of food in their everyday life, but concerns must be risen and put on a pedestal with these new studies offering information and a deeper insight into how exactly overfishing may ruin us as a whole. This has become a serious threat and is now finally being brought to life, but is it too late?

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