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Overfishing

Over the recent years there have been a massive influx in fishing. Also there has been massive increase within the intensity and efficiency of commercial fishing methods, which are potentially resulting into overfishing. The European Commission has enforced much legislation to forbid the fishing of particular species, which could be at risk of extinction and encouraged the breeding of fish and stocking rivers for the population of species of fish to recover.

Commercial Fish Farming

Ships suspend a net which floats stretched between two boats so that swim into it, usually called by drift nets, usually catch some fish that live in the upper parts of the water. Once the fish are caught, they cannot escape unless they are small enough in size to fit through the net’s mesh.

On the other hand, there are fish that live in deeper waters that are not caught by drift nets, but are caught by a process of trawling which involves dragging a large net through the water, catching whatever happens to be in the way. Once again, this process has the be maintained by enforcing a hole length within the net to ensure that small fish can escape the nets, allowing them to become mature and reproduce maintaining the species population.

Eventually Overfishing can seriously affect other fishermen in countries such as morocco. If there are large amounts of fish being caught, there will be likelihood that family fishermen will catch less food. A balance needs to be established to ensure that stocks are able to replenish allowing the species to thrive for future years.

The effects of overfishing to other ecosystems

Other creatures within the food chain are affected causing a ‘knock-on’ effect by fishing a particular species of fish.

An example of the ‘knock-on’ effect is that herring is eaten by cod. If the herring are to become overfished, then the cod population will decrease due to insufficient food. As the cod population decreases, animals such as polar bears may suffer as their diet may consist of cod.

Ways that have or are currently helped overfishing

There have been quotas on the amount of fish that can be docked. The nets have been restricted in size along with the net’s mesh. By restricting, it allows young fish to mature to produce more fish, increasing the fish population. Enforcing seasons for permitted fishing – This can allow growth of fish during mating seasons where fishing is banned within that period. Lastly, designating exclusion zones so that fishers cannot fish in that area – The area might be an area of mating for a particular species.

Fish Farming

Within the UK, trout and salmon are generally the most commonly farmed. These species can be controlled and grown to maturity within many environments such as ponds, lakes and enclosures in estuaries. This is preferred as predication is reduced and food supplies can be maintained. But there are some disadvantages. Firstly, diseases are spread easier and can even spread to the wild fish. A huge amount of antibiotics are needed to keep the fish healthy – this itself can cause mutations within Bactria to become immune to certain antibiotics. The excretion of many fish excreta can result into eutrophication, which means that there will be an algae bloom. An algae bloom is where a thick layer of algae forms over the surface of the water, preventing sunlight reaching to the floor of the lake bed.. This causes aquatic plants to die and fish to die due to lack of food. Bacteria then decay the plant, using the oxygen in the water to produce carbon dioxide. Once the oxygen has been used from the water, the bacteria produces sulphur resulting in the water to turn acidic, killing most of the life within the water.

If salmon where to escape the breeding pen, then other species might be in risk of depletion as salmon eat three times their own weight which is compromised of mostly fish. Lastly, the salmon can accumulate toxins, such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls and dioxins, which can be passed on along the food chain.

Biology


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