Monday, June 27, 2011

What are the main effects of overfishing?

Overfishing is becoming a huge environmental issue, especially with the ongoing rapid growth of human population. Millions of people worldwide depend on fish to survive but due to very poor global management of fisheries overfishing is taking heavy toll in almost all of our oceans and seas with many fish species experiencing a significant decline in population.

According to the recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society overfishing has caused modern fish species to have shorter life spans, faster growth rates, smaller average sizes, and fewer top predators. That was the main conclusion of a recent study in which researchers compared fish recently caught in coastal Kenya with the bones of fish contained in ancient Swahili.

Overfishing has therefore significantly reduced the number of large and long-living fish species that were more commonly caught in the Middle Ages. The only areas where fish population can still somewhat thrive and achieve longer lifespan are marine protected areas, though even in these areas fish communities can only partially achieve its "former glory days".

As said before the fishing pressure is growing all the time and the world still hasn't established the adequate global management to stop deterioration of remaining fisheries.

Particularly worrying is the fact that top predators are mostly affected with overfishing which is already causing severe changes in marine food chain.

One thing is sure - ignorance will not solve this serious issue. World needs to unite and come up with the solution that would ensure the adequate global management of remaining fisheries. Failing to do so could cost us dearly in years to come.