Impact of Overfishing

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The Impact of Overfishing
Overfishing has become an enormous problem all over the world. The impact of the increasing demand for fish and the advanced techniques made in the area of commercial fishing has caused some species of fish to be virtually extinct. In fact, some species like the giant bluefin tuna widely used by Japanese chefs and served in many restaurants, are now just few years away from extinction. Human demand for fish has increased enormously over the last several years, particularly since the 1950’s. This is widely due to the reported health benefits of making fish a regular part of our diet. In fact, fish is the main source of protein for many people worldwide. This increased popularity has caused more business to grow resulting in an incredible amount of fishing in the waters. A serious negative effect of this increased demand is state of the art technical advances that have been made to improve fishing techniques. These new techniques are so effective that they have caused vast areas of our oceans to be drained of all fish. As a result, the fish are being harvested from the ocean and fisheries faster than they are allowed to reproduce. This problem became so severe on the Georges Bands Fishery that the banks had to be closed in two large areas of the fishery. The US Commerce Department felt this drastic step was necessary to facilitate the restoration of the fish population in those areas. The human appetite for fish has outweighed the ocean’s ability to meet the demand, meaning the fish are being harvested faster than they can reproduce. Larger predatory fish such as flounder, cod, tilapia, tuna and swordfish have been harvested from the ocean at an alarming rate. Without the larger species of fish, other species such as anchovies and sardines have had a dramatic increase in population as their predators are not as plentiful. This change in the ocean population causes an ecological imbalance in the ocean which can have a...
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