Commercial fishing and the environment is a concern to all of us who are green thinkers. The nets that are dragged up and down a specific spot in the ocean will cause the total destruction of seafood ecosystems. The net is a wmd in the oceanic world as it doesn’t discriminate as to target species and innocent bystanders.
Back in the 80′s and early 90′s I was an avid amateur fisherman and also spent quite a few years in commercial fisheries. I worked in all sorts of areas – oyster farming, trawling, seining, scallop dredging, trapping, sharking, hand lining, set lining, drop lining and long lining; so I was able to get a pretty good handle on the environmental issues involved – unfortunately as someone contributing to the damage.
While pursuits that involved hooks weren’t so bad environmentally speaking – I won’t get into the cruelty aspects in this article – anything involving nets and dredges were quite horrifying in terms of wiping out stocks and damage to marine ecosystems.
In some areas where I worked, nets had been dragged up and down the same stretches for decades, eventually turning the ocean floor into a barren wasteland.
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There is a world out there that needs the protein that our fish populations provide, and have done so for generations, but modern technology far outpaces the reproductive capabilities of nature. This is where aquaculture comes to the rescue. Properly maintained fish farms coupled with intelligent managers can close the widening gap between a hungry world and a dwindling supply of over-fished food species.