Overfishing: A potential threat to aquatic biodiversity

Determining the maximum limit of fishing has become indispensable

Ocean is not only a means for making money, but it is also a limited and vulnerable asset which requires careful management and stewardship to get the most out of it. The main reason for the deterioration in ocean health — bigger than climate change or pollution is overfishing. Over-fishing not only threatens a valuable source of food, but, it disturbs the entire marine ecosystem.

Most of the world’s important commercial fish species have been declining for years.  Catching as many fish as possible may seem like a profitable practice, but overfishing has serious consequences. The results not only affect the balance of aquatic life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fishing for earning their livelihood.

With continuous overfishing related practices and without sustainable management, many fish stocks are depleted to below acceptable levels. As overfishing is responsible for the depletion of aquatic life in the Bay, determining the maximum limit of fishing has become indispensable to cope with the climate change and protect the biodiversity.

The main reason for the deterioration in ocean health 

— bigger than climate change or pollution, is overfishing

It is discouraging to learn that still we do not have enough research to decide which fish should be netted in monsoon or by what amount. Fishermen often claim that they are not getting enough fish in the sea and certainly overfishing is the main reason behind such depletion.

Considering these, the relevant authorities should work collaboratively to save our marine biodiversity. Marine Biodiversity Conservation Policy should be formulated under the supervision of an autonomous body for the protection of marine biodiversity. As excessive fishing is the biggest cause of biodiversity loss, we need integrated aggressive fisheries management policy.  Besides, we need to form a task force to develop a national ocean policy. We believe, designating marine protected areas is a viable and effective strategy for tackling overfishing. In general, people overfish because it pays to do so. Hence, the solution to overfishing is to remove the incentive to overfish by making it unprofitable to do so.