Oceans, which ends with a fish

Mankind does not live by hunting and gathering as once — with one important exception. Fish — the only wild animal that we hunt in large numbers. And yet, we can be the last generation that was engaged in this fishery.


Entire species of marine life would never see the light in antropotsene (age person), not to mention being tested on taste, if we do not curb our insatiable voracity against fish. Last year, global consumption of fish has reached a record high of 17 kg per person per year, and that with the continued reduction of the world's fish stocks. On average, people now eat up to four times more fish than in 1950.

About 85 percent of the world's fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or recovering fully developed after operation. Just this week, in one report, it was suggested that in the North Sea between Britain and Scandinavia may be less than one hundred units of cod over the age of 13. This is an alarming sign, indicating that we are losing the fish are old enough to produce offspring, which makes up a population.

Large areas of the sea floor in the Mediterranean and the North Sea is now reminiscent of the desert — the sea free from the fish using more effective methods such as bottom trawling. Now these lavishly subsidized industrial fleets scrub and tropical oceans. The EU is now a quarter of the catch is obtained outside of European waters, mostly in the once-rich seas of West Africa, where a trawler can take out hundreds of thousands of pounds of fish per day. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN is now the West African fishery pereekspluatirovany, stocks of coastal fisheries for the last 30 years have decreased by 50 percent.

It is expected that by 2050 the volume of the catch in the tropics will drop by 40 percent, and yet in Africa and South-East Asia for production of fish (mainly through traditional forms of fishing) as a source of protein and minerals, expect about 400 million people. Taking into account the expected adverse effects of climate change on agricultural production in order to meet their nutritional needs of people are more than ever relying on the fish.

Policy of providing huge subsidies to the fishing fleet in order to catch more and more decreasing stocks unacceptable from an environmental point of view. For example, in Spain, one of the three caught fish paid for by grants. Government, concerned about the preservation of jobs in the fishing industry in the short-term relationship, in fact, paid to people for them to put an end to their long-term employment prospects — not to mention the consequences for the next generation of fishermen. The share of traditional trade for half the fish the world, despite the fact that it provides 90 percent of the jobs the industry.

Protection from exhaustion

Of course, developed countries did not think to go back to the traditional methods. However, catastrophic in its consequences management industry needs to be reformed if we are to restore fisheries to self-sustaining levels. In the EU alone would restore stocks to big catch, estimated at 3.5 million tons per year in the amount of 2.7 billion pounds.

Instead of a system in which members of the EU are working hard elbows to get a larger quota — which is already installed in the amounts far in excess of what can make the biosphere — Fisheries experts suggest that governments of the countries themselves to set quotas based on stock levels in the surrounding their waters. Fishermen must be made responsible for the fish, which they catch — after all, they will have a vested interest in increasing the reserves — and this could take the form of individual, publicly traded shares of quotas. This course will put an end to a situation tragedy of the commons (the term of game theory, indicating the problem of re-using the common good of the community, approx. Mixednews.ru), where each raking in the ocean as much as you can, as long as the network of its competitors did not get the last fish, and this practice been successfully used in countries from Iceland to New Zealand and the U.S.. The results show that the management of fisheries in this way means that they have doubled the chances for avoiding a collapse than industry with unlimited access.

In the highly depleted zones only way to recover is to establish inventory reserves when any prohibited fishing. In other parts required for appropriate oversight of compliance with quotas — fishing vessels may be subject to licensing and equipment monitoring devices, so they can not deviate in legally protected areas, may carry out spot checks of fish for its size and species composition, the fish can even be noted that the authorities and consumers are confident in the safety of the environment for the method of its production.

Another way out is to take into service the usual method by which humanity is able to cope with food shortages, and the transition from hunting-gathering to farming.

Currently, half of the fish we eat has come from farms — in China, the figure is at least 80 percent — but the implementation of this option on a commercial scale lie the problems. Filled with wild fish farm, which then need to be fed — larger fish such as salmon and tuna to eat at least 20 times its own weight in the form of smaller fish like anchovies and herring. This has led to overfishing of the small fish, but if the farmed fish to keep on a vegetarian diet, it lacks valuable omega-3 fatty acids that make it nutritious, so the look and taste they can not compete with their species from their natural habitat. Scientists are working to develop an artificial version of omega-3 — existing synthetic versions are created from natural fish oils.

Fish farms also are a factor in the increased pollution. They exude a poisonous waste — slurry — which is a fertilizer for algae in the ocean that reduce the amount of oxygen available for other species, and leads to the formation of dead zones. Thus, salmon fish farming industry in Scotland produces the same amount of nitrogen waste, which contain raw sewage 3.2 million people, ie more than half the country's population. The result was a campaign to ban aquaculture in coastal areas.

Farmed fish is also a breeding ground for infections and parasites, of which a substantial part of the fish die — runaways then often infect the population at large. Breeders try to control infestations antibiotics, but usually only succeed in creating a major problem in the form of antibiotic resistance.

Dangerous predator

The impact of humanity on the environment is not limited to fish, which often can be found in the menu. The exotic sea creatures from turtles to manta rays and stingrays marine mammals hunted to their complete destruction. The population of sharks in the world, for example, fell by 80 percent, and one third of shark species are now threatened with extinction. The main predator of the sea is not a shark — is ourselves.

Decline in the number of sharks much impact on the marine ecosystem: it can increase the number of fish lower on the food chain, which in turn may lead to disastrous consequences for the population of a very small forms of marine life, like plankton. In the absence of a tiny creature gets threaten the entire system.

One of the consequences is an increase in the number of jellyfish, but the beat and the marine ecosystem overfishing and pollution, and climate change and acidification (the absorption of CO2 Ocean, approx.). Warmer waters displace other species in the habitat, which is why some of them become extinct and others are adapting by creating a completely new hybrid species. Meanwhile, trawlers nets collect catch, the destiny of marine mammals and even sea birds — die each year at least 320,000 sea birds falling in fishing tackle, putting populations of albatrosses and petrels, to the brink of extinction.

Some solutions to the problem is easier than you may think. Seabirds can be protected using a weighted rope (for faster diving baited hooks in the water, approx.) And scaring off birds with ropes attached to them flying long narrow ribbons — one only of these methods when applied to reduce mortality of seabirds by more than 85 -99 percent.

Call to preserve the environment

To protect the species, strengthening and expanding protected marine reserves have a long way to go. Currently, under the protection is less than 1 percent of the ocean, although the international community and agreed to raise this figure to 10 percent. Reserves, subject to proper patrolling and monitoring, really preserve marine life, and one by one state chooses this path. For example, the tiny Pacific island (referring to the Cook Islands, approx.) Have teamed up to create a huge conservation area area of 1.1 million square kilometers. Not to be outdone, the world's largest protected marine area in Australia has created, and these efforts are joined countries around the world from Britain to New Zealand.

However, useful as such marine reserves — often created around these points, such as coral reefs and rocky islands — are effective only if the state has the resources for patrol and protection. In addition, many sea creatures, from whale sharks to whales are migratory — they do not remain in the protected areas, making it easier to hunt them fishermen. What is needed, many argue, are mobile reserves, which follow the migration of animals, as well as those who change their habitat due to currents and climate events such as El Niño.

Said zones shall be carefully selected and should not have a negative impact on the livelihood of fishermen. For example, in one study, it was found that the determination of only 20 sites — 4 percent of the world's oceans — as protected areas can protect 108 species (84%) of marine mammals in the world.

By the middle of XX century the river in many European cities have undergone such a ruthless fishing, were so polluted and blocked by dams that are almost out of fish, and many species have disappeared locally. But thanks to the measures to clean up, restoration of river banks and restrictions on fishing, the fish returned to the water, even in the inner cities. Ten years ago, few people could imagine that the salmon will return to my local river Thames. If you can return the fish back to the "dead" of the river, in the case of the global ocean is certainly not lost.

Source: http://mixednews.ru/ | Prepared: http://planeta.moy.su

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