It’s been about 3 weeks since Speak Up for the Blue was launched and I must admit, things are going well. There has been lots of positive feedback from the science community. I am now working on gaining more readers that are not in the science community. So things are going well. But I must apologize as I have not addressed an Ocean issue that has plagued the world for the past few decades…FISHING! Don’t worry, I am not going to go into a tirade against fishing and how it is destroying the world because I don’t believe that statement. I think we need fishing and there are many people who depend on fishing, commercial and/or recreational, for their livelihoods. Fishing communities seem to be very traditional and rely on the tradition to train the next generation to continue the tradition.
The problem with fishing is there may not be any fish for the next generation…eventually. I don’t know which generation that will be, but I know it could be within the next 100 years (various scientists have predicted another 50 years before most fisheries are gone). What does this really mean? Will all fish be extinct by the end of the century? Probably not, but the fish we are used to eating may not be available at that time. Other fish may be available to eat , but we don’t know if they are going to be good to eat or even healthy to eat (could have mercury poisoning, but that is a different issue).
The problem with fishing right now is the phrase “fishing down the food chain”. What does that mean? It means that due to the decimation of current commercial fishery stocks, fishermen are forced to fish other types of species. Species that were prey for the species that were caught. These new species are lower on the food chain and are now experiencing a boost in the number of species due to a lack of predators. So the population is up and the fishing is great, but not regulated well because everything about the population seems to be fine…until they are fished to collapse. Guess what, the fishermen are forced to go down the food chain.
As we keep going down the food chain, the species at the top of the food chain that were fished to collapse are not able to recover because their prey, which has now been over-fished are gone. Do you see the problem now?
What is the solution? I’m not sure, but it seems to me that we are fishing too much. Perhaps it may not be the most popular answer; however, it may be the right answer. You let me know how to solve this one! SPEAK UP!