Global Fishery Crisis Causes and Solutions Essay
The world community is faced with the urgent problem of global fishing crisis. The analysis of specifics of the crisis and the possible solutions proposed by the scientists can help to find efficient ways of dealing with the crisis.
Though different causes of global fishery crisis can be determined, overpopulation is considered the most influential one. As the population of the Earth has grown significantly during the last two centuries, the urgent need to feed all people pushes fishery industry to grow the production.
Human well-being highly depends on fish and aquaculture, as they present a source of essential nutrients able to provide people with better health. Therefore, as the number of people living on the Earth grows, the need for food able to deal with problems related to starvation and malnutrition is growing.
Another factor that stimulates the expansion of fishery business is the need for employment. Fishery industry provides jobs for a big number of people, whose well-being and ability to survive directly depends on the success of the business. Fishery sector is especially important for developing countries, as it often plays the vital role in providing them with enough trading to help the country stimulate the economic development and provide normal functioning (The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 3).
Both of the factors mentioned above have led to the enormous expansion of fishery business, which has become the cause of the global fishery crisis. Striving for well-being, people often forget about ecological issues and exploit the natural sources to the extent that leads to inevitable changes in the ecosystems. These changes directly affect the potential for feeding the population with fishery and are considered the causes of the possibility of lack of food in certain regions.
While the growth of commercialized fisheries is often regarded as the primary cause of the crisis, the role of recreational fishing is usually underestimated. However, Cooke and Cowx have used the data collected in Canada and estimated that potential contribution of recreational fishing to fishery crisis can be nearly twelve percent (857). As recreational fishing has access to freshwater systems and near shore regions of the ocean, it should be regarded as another potential risk factor that leads to fishery stack declines and ecosystem alterations.
The combination of overexploitation and lack of attention paid to ecological factors of fishery business has led to the current situation in this sector faced by the world community.
The factors mentioned above have led to the complex situation in the world fisheries, which can be described as a severe crisis. Various studies prove the huge contributions of the anthropogenic factor to the current problems faced by world fishery sector.
Global fishery production in marine waters was 82.6 million tons in 2011 and 79.7 million tons in 2012 (The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 5). Particular countries caught more than an average of one million tons per year, which makes nearly eighty percent of .
These factors illustrate the tendencies of overexploitation of fish resources in the world, and in certain regions particularly. The Asian region is considered the primary source of fishery production. China has expanded its fish production and consumption dramatically.
The overexploitation of world resources has caused the inevitable changes in the ecosystems of oceans and seas. The stocks of the number of oceangoing fish have declined considerably. Many species have faced either the decline in their number or complete extinction. Beddington, Agnew, and Clark have indicated that scientific studies demonstrate the fact that one-quarter of fish stocks have been overexploited, depleted, or are recovering from depletion during the last twenty years (1713).
Northeast and Northwest Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea are considered the areas with the largest number of depleted stocks (Beddington, Agnew, and Clark 1713). Jackson emphasizes that present levels of exploitation make wild Atlantic coastal fishery unsustainable (5416). The researcher claims that have gone under significant changes because of direct and indirect effects of overfishing.
Current global fishery crisis put a serious threat to the lives of millions of people and needs effective long-term solutions.
Though the situation related to global fishery crisis causes well-grounded concerns among scientists, a number of researchers see the possible ways of dealing with current problems and view the possibility of recovery from the crisis with optimism. They propose the methods able to fix certain problems related to fish decline based on innovative approaches to the process of fish industry regulation.
Beddington, Agnew, and Clark emphasize the importance of fishers and other stakeholders participation in the (1715). Such cooperation of scientists appears to be a good idea, as the decision they can make together will take account of the interest of both groups.
The experience shows that strategies imposed by only on scientific approach to the problem aimed at quick recovery of fisheries caused the people involved in the industry to seek the ways of evading the laws and regulations to provide the sustainability of the business.
Therefore, only the regulation that accounts the profit of fishers and proposes the gradual reduction of exploitation of fisheries without causing the dramatic decline in the industry can be well-accepted and followed by the stakeholders. Otherwise, the growing strictness of the rules will cause the aggravation of tense atmosphere in the industry and lead to illegal acts.
Castilla and Defeo also emphasize that promoting the participation of fishers in the planning and surveillance of management measures can be a relevant solution to the current crisis (1324). In my opinion, the strategy of encouraging fishers to participate in the process of creation and implementation of regulations aimed at reducing the consequences of world fishery crisis can be considered a thoughtful decision, as it can promote compliance with regulations.
The solutions able to change the course of events related to global fishery crisis should rely on distinguishing the primary priorities. Pauly et al. have used four scenarios developed by the United Nations Environment Program to investigate the impacts on fishery each of them can have and define the most appropriate one.
The scenario putting the markets in the first place appears to be insufficient as its implications can include a severe ecological impact on bottom habitats (Pauly et al. 1360). The scenario, which puts the security in the first place also appears to be inappropriate as it can cause increase exports of polluting technologies to poorer countries and loss of ecosystem components.
Putting policy and sustainability in the first place seems to be a good decision, as such scenarios have a potential of bringing fisheries back from the brink and reducing the danger of extinction for many species (Pauly et al. 1361).
In my opinion, this solution appears to be viable, as it takes into consideration both the need for dealing with the problem related to ecological crisis in fishery and the need to provide the industry with the opportunity to keep the sustainability of the business on the high level while dealing with ecological problems. Such strategy can encourage stakeholders to take part in the struggle against species extinction as it does not put a threat to their interests.
Starting with ecosystem considerations rather than the target species is regarded as another option able to deal with fishery crisis. Castilla and Defeo have analyzed the specifics of (EBFM) relying on such strategy (1324). The scientists have concluded that such approach largely ignores artisanal fisheries and pays little attention to sharing of management roles between government and local organizations (Castilla and Defeo 1324).
Ocean zoning, as a part of EBFM, can be an effective solution, but it requires large investments. Castilla and Defeo emphasize that management tools should be employed according to societal and cultural backgrounds (1324). In my opinion, the scientists have identified an important factor influencing the efficacy of programs and policies aimed at solving problematic fishery issues. Finding the ways of investing in ocean zoning can benefit the current situation a lot.
The analysis of possible solutions suggested by the scientists helps to identify the most important factors influencing the needed course of actions. Putting an emphasis on developing the policies and regulation that correspond both to the needs of fishers and to the needs of ocean and sea ecosystems and species appears to be one of the most effective solutions.
Encouraging stakeholders and fishers to take part in policy making and influence the regulations to make them corresponding to unique social and cultural backgrounds of the region is another important step towards reducing the risks of fishery crisis and ensuring the willingness of people involved in the industry to follow the rules able to save the fishery stocks.
The analysis of possible solutions to problems related to global fishery crisis helps to see the possibility of positive changes able to end the crisis.