Ecological extinction is caused by many different human disturbances including pollution, the decrease in water quality, and global warming. Overfishing precedes all of these human disturbances to coastal ecosystems. Even though evidence suggests that the stocks of fisheries in today’s world are in terrible shape, humans still manage to fish down marine food webs that cause impoverished areas that become less ecologically valuable. Overfishing also places a selective pressure of fish causing them to become sexually mature at a younger age and smaller size. By overfishing these populations and creating a new breeding strategy, we have single-handedly decreased the overall fecundity of certain marine fish. Along with overfishing, by-catch is another negative impact that commercial fisheries have one our environment. The US National Marine Fisheries Service stated that between 37 and 92 juvenile North Pacific loggerheads are killed each year due to by-catch in the Northwest Pacific. Serious bans and regulations need to be placed on commercial fisheries to ensure that our ocean environments are not completely destroyed by human disturbances. A good step forward would be to increase the amount of marine protected areas (MPA) in the world. MPA’s are effective tools to help mitigate the threats that overfishing pose on our oceans.
It is a priority that our generation finds a more sustainable way to collect resources from our earth.
-by Colin Aono
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