Overfishing: the Problem and the Solution

Topics: Overfishing, Fish, Population dynamics of fisheries Pages: 7 (1779 words) Published: December 17, 2009
Overfishing: The Problem and the Solution
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Axia College of University of Phoenix

Overfishing: The Problem and the Solution

A major environmental problem that has developed over the last few years is overfishing. What is overfishing? Overfishing is simply what it sounds like. Overfishing occurs when fishermen are catching fish so quickly and at such high rates that the fish are unable to reproduce fast enough to replenish the population. It is my belief that, if this has not always been a problem, it has always been a problem in the making. This problem has progressively gotten worse as the human population that relies on fish as a food resource has increased and the equipment and techniques used by the fishermen have allowed for more fish than ever to be caught. Even though overfishing is a serious problem that would not be possible to correct overnight, I do believe that there are actions that could be taken to reverse this water resource problem.

Humans Are Not the Only Ones Affected

Humans are the number one contributor to this problem. With the continuing rise in population that relies on fish in their diet and the demand to meet it there has been more need for fishermen and fisheries to meet these needs. With the increase in the number of fishermen and fisheries in industry, there has been an increase in competition to get the largest catch and make as much money as possible. The race by fishermen and fisheries to increase their catches and the need to meet demands has led to the discovery of the technology and techniques that would allow for this which are often destructive. However, this problem affects more than humans. There are other animals that have fish in their diet. Fish are also in the diet of many species in the water and are responsible for eating some species. With dwindling fish populations and the chance that we will one day be without fish, we face the balance of the species and habitats that are sustained by fish becoming unbalanced or losing many more species as a result.

Current Strategies

There are currently laws and programs in place that are meant to protect fish and fish habitats. One of these is the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA), 1956. “The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA), as amended in 1964, was enacted to protect fish and wildlife when federal actions result in the control or modification of a natural stream or body of water. The statute requires federal agencies to take into consideration the effect that water-related projects would have on fish and wildlife resources; take action to prevent loss or damage to these resources; and provide for the development and improvement of these resources.” (FEMA, 2007 ¶ 1). Another attempt that has been made to keep better control over overfishing occurred when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation And Management Reauthorization Act Of 2006. According to the White House website, this act is meant to bring an end to overfishing by 2011, double the limited-access privilege programs available to end the competition in fishing, improve the quality of catches, and protect those that make a living in this industry in order to replenish fish stocks, to better enforce laws, and improve the quality of information that is available and used by fishery managers as well as establish regional registries for recreational fishermen. Finally, the President also signed an Executive Order to protect America's striped bass and red drum fish populations. According to the White House website, this act moves to prohibit the sale of striped bass and red drum caught in Federal waters, promotes more accurate records about fish population levels for better quality data, and helps the government work with local officials to discover new and innovative ways to conserve these species for future generations.

Action Plan

Any actions that would be taken should be implemented and supported on a global...

References: Greenpeace International. (n.d.). Bottom trawling. Retrieved July 13, 20xx, from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/bottom-trawling
Greenpeace International. (n.d.). Bycatch. Retrieved July 13, 20xx, from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/bycatch
Overfishing. (2007). A global environmental problem, threat and disaster. Retrieved July 16, 20xx, from http://overfishing.org/pages/what_can_I_do_to_help.php
The White House. (2007, January 12). Fact Sheet: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act. Retrieved on July 21, 20xx from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070112-1.html
The White House. (2007, October 19). Fact Sheet: Guarding Against Over-Fishing Through Cooperative Conservation. Retrieved on July 21, 20xx, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/10/20071019-19.html
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