Effects Of Overfishing Essay

For most people, the ocean is something that has always been there. After all, Earth is covered in a lot of water. But not everything is as fine as it seems. Although it may look like everything is doing well, the truth is that the ocean, and the marine life it sustains, is actually dying. Now, this doesn’t mean that the ocean is going to disappear anytime soon, but it does mean that things will change very drastically if nothing is done about this situation. If the ocean is dying, why isn’t everyone freaking out?

Well, most people are not aware that the ocean is slowly deteriorating. There are many problems that are all causing this to happen, many of which are all connected. Overfishing, pollution, climate change/global warming, marine habitat destruction are all individual problems that are causing one very serious problem; destruction of the ocean. Overfishing, put simply, occurs when more sea life is taken from the ocean than the population can reproduce naturally. Due to overfishing, many species of fish and other sea life are extinct or facing extinction.

Illegal fishing, commercial fishing, and because the amount of fish that one can catch is often not limited. According to a study conducted, in the journal Science, in 2006 it was estimated that if the rate of overfishing is to continue, “all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048. ” Also, it’s estimated that at least 80% of fisheries worldwide are either over or fully exploited, which basically means that fishermen are catching way too much fish depleting the fisheries of their marine life. So why is overfishing such a big deal?

Well, losing fish species would be devastating for the human population, seeing as how a lot of people depend on seafood for a source of income and for their meals. Overfishing damages not only other fish species but disrupts other marine ecosystems. Another major problem is that there is too much pollution within the ocean. One type of pollution is toxic pollution. Toxic pollutants occurs when chemicals are dumped into the environment, or when natural chemicals build up to toxic levels.

Toxic pollution can cause decreases in wildlife animal opulation, hurt the ecosystem, and threaten human health. But there are negative effects that are hard to ignore. Toxic pollution has been linked to cases of marine animals getting cancer, lesions, genetic and developmental defects, reproductive failures, sex changes, and death. Keep in mind that these are only the effects that humans are aware of. There very well could be other consequences that we just don’t know about. According to the article, “What Is The Biggest Source of Pollution in the Ocean,” 80 percent of pollution to marine life comes from the land.

Pollution coming from the land is known mainly as nonpoint source pollution, which occurs because of runoff. Runoff can come from septic tanks, cars, trucks, and boats, which are all examples of small sources. Some large sources are farms, ranches, and forest areas. Also, millions of vehicles drop small amounts of oil every day onto roads and parking lots, and a lot actually does make its way to the sea. Some air pollution settles into oceans and waterways, and contaminate the surrounding water. Construction sites can also be a source of pollution.

Any topsoil or silt can runoff, and can harm fish and wildlife habitats. Every year, millions of dollars are spent towards restoring and protecting places that had been damaged or could be damaged by nonpoint source source pollution. In addition to pollution and overfishing, another problem that is negatively affecting the ocean is global warming or climate change. Global warming affects many of the marine species and the health of the ocean. Due to the rising temperatures fisheries are being disrupted, the ice caps are melting causing the sea level to rise, including many more problems.

Global warming disrupting the fisheries is one big problem for the marine ecosystem. Fisheries all around the world are being disrupted because of the rising temperatures that cause the fish to move towards the poles, throwing the marine food chain into confusion. The health of the fisheries depend greatly on the conditions around it. When the fish are chased away from a fishery it affects not only the marine food chain, but the people that make their living fishing from the fisheries located near them, where all the fish have migrated.

If fish migrate to fisheries that cannot support their species, or drive out the fish species already living there, that can also disrupt everything around them. Similarly, rising sea levels, an effect of the ice caps melting, which is ultimately caused by global warming, is “drowning” wetlands. The sea level is rising too fast and as a result, the wetlands are not growing fast enough to keep up. Also, this affects coral reefs as well as seagrass meadows because they are only able to photosynthesize in shallow water. But that’s not all. Coral bleaching is caused by warmer ocean temperatures, which is a result of global warming.

Mass coral bleaching can lead to other corals starving, shrinking, and dying, which negatively affects the thousands of marine life species that occupy coral reefs. In 2014, a global coral bleaching event that started in the Pacific Ocean is slowly spreading the western Atlantic Ocean and Hawaii. This is an issue because many tourists come to Hawaii to witness the beauty of its coral reefs, and coral bleaching could potentially destroy an important source of income for this state. According to Ruth Gates, a professor at the Hawaii Institute of Marine