The Fall of the Oceanic Population

Topic Question

If we don't conserve the coastal fish population, where would we be?

What is overfishing?

Overfishing is when there are more fish caught than the population can replace naturally. It's is the leading disturbance in the aquatic ecosystem, it's even greater than pollution.

What Causes Overfishing?

One main cause of the over-fishing problem is illegal, uncontrolled, and unreported fishing, this is known as pirate fishing. Pirate fishing accounts for an approximate 20% of the world’s fish income and as much as 50% in a few fisheries. The cost of pirate fishing is great, with the value of pirated fish products estimated between $10-23.5 billion every year. Over-fishing is also often found with by-catching, another severe marine threat that causes the pointless death of billions of fish, along with sea-turtles and aquatic mammals. The “open access” nature of fisheries is another cause in the issues involving over-fishing. An absence of administration oversight, government control, and detect-ability of fishing activities has long since been an issue in the fishing industry. Present rules and regulations are too weak to limit the fishing amount to a sustainable level.

The Effect

Over-fishing leads to an abundance of smaller marine species, such as sardines and anchovies. This increase disrupts the balance of the entire ecosystem, such as how the increased growth of algae threatens the health of coral reefs. Another affect is how species of fish have decreased to the point to where they are near extinct. The outcome not only affect the harmony of the organisms in the oceans, but also the social and industrial welfare of the coastal communities who rely upon on fish for their way of living. Rising fishing efforts during the past 50 years as well as unsustainable fishing activities are pushing many fish stocks to the brink of collapse.

How to Fix It

Luckily, there are a few answers to this problem. One solution the government can act on is that they can fix the fisheries that are already in existence. Once the situations, such as lack of regulation, is resolved, then that should help with the decreasing populations. Another solution for them would be to add a few more fisheries, after the current ones are fixed. That way, there'd be a few more places to help bring the species back to a healthier amount. A solution for those that aren't in the government, and don't have a position of power would just be to help fund the existing agencies that are trying to mend the environment. Over-fishing is a major problem that needs to be fixed. If things continue the way they are now, then the entire ecosystem would be completely messed up, and the world would be in chaos. Stop over-fishing, before it's too late.


Jackson, Jeremy B.C. "Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems." Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. American Association for the Advancement of Science, July 2001. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, 13 Sept. 2012. Web. 08 Jan. 2014