Fish have been a protein source throughout history. Early fishing primarily involved individuals capturing fish near their communities for consumption or trade. Ships gave fishers access to ocean-based fisheries. Commercial fishing became industrialized by the late nineteenth century, as technological innovations helped locate, catch, and process fish. In addition to fish living in natural freshwater or saltwater fisheries, fish cultivated in fish farms' ponds or tanks represented approximately one-fourth of the fish eaten in the world. Countries benefited economically with domestic trade and by exporting valuable fish. In the early twenty-first century, fisheries generated billions of dollars globally with approximately 42 million people employed to catch fish and several hundred millions more working in related industries. Fisheries reinforced food security when climate changes caused shortages of other agricultural products.
For centuries, fishers realized that weather affected fish populations, but they lacked the scholarly resources to investigate their observations. During the nineteenth century, fishery researchers began applying scientific methodology to study diverse factors affecting fish health, reproduction, and habitats. They contemplated reasons for decreased fish populations besides overfishing. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives voiced concerns that climate deviations affected the quantity and quality of fisheries to the U.S. Congress in 1988. The American Fisheries Society promoted research examining how climate change might affect fisheries. Scientists consulted ships' logs and records documenting fish-catch statistics and meteorological patterns to evaluate hypotheses about the climate's possible role in fish population losses. Researchers used computer simulations to consider future climatic factors that could potentially harm fish.
Fish are exceptionally vulnerable to habitat changes. The World Wildlife Federation...
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