October 20, 2016 by writingex
Overfishing the World’s Oceans
Since humanity’s beginnings, the oceans have provided sustenance.. However, as with most of the world’s valuable natural resources, sustainability is fast becoming a big problem. For years now, commercial companies have been overfishing the world’s oceans, bringing entire fish populations to the brink of extinction. Researchers projects that if current fishing trends are sustained at their present rates, wild marine life will experience total annihilation by the year 2050. Just a couple of decades from now, countries whose major source of livelihood is fish will run into big problems unless something drastic is done to moderate the harvesting of wild fish in the ocean.
The true but alarming fact is that fishing statistics are heading in the wrong direction. Every year, more and more species are harvested in the ocean, most times at the expense of long-term sustainability. Though these facts are certainly frightening, it isn’t too late to change course and reverse the trend. Something can definitely be done to steadily restore the vitality of fish populations in the world’s oceans; however, the time to act is now. What can be done to help maintain the current fish populations and even help them increase in numbers? Well, an established system of institutional control would be a perfect place to start.
Looking at the scope of international law and the unwelcome fact that the majority of fishing activities takes place in open waters, there exists some level regulatory difficulty. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia and the WWF discovered that 23 rogue nation were mostly responsible for 40% of the world’s catch. Those rogue countries were, at a large extent, circumventing the international fishing laws promulgated by the United Nations. Taking advantage of the absence of a regulating institution, these countries and their fishing industries have greatly exploited international waters, robbing them of large fish populations in the process.
Those same researchers have been struggling to come up with workable solutions for this growing scourge. One of the major problem standing in the way of future fish population is the voluntary enforcement nature of the international fishing code. Though formulated and agreed to by all members of the international community, the code does not come with any true prohibitive framework. Countries are only requested to adhere to the regulations enacted; it is therefore not surprising that many of these countries overlook certain parts of the code when their interest is at stake. A separate research discovers that no nation adheres to more than 60% of the code at the long run, while many other nations overlook as much as 90%. This is truly frightening.
In order to rectify this abominable situation, a new global initiative must commence. Deterrents must be introduced, providing enough reason for countries to adhere by the rules. The preservation of fish populations in the ocean is something that stands in the best interest of all countries irrespective of location or political inclination. A truly cooperative international law must be enacted, and the United Nations must responsible for overseeing it enforcement. Economic sanctions are effective and can act as an excellent consequence for countries that might think of contravening a mandatory code. Additionally, changing the world view of international fishing laws will also help to stop this debilitating global trend.
Uncompromising regulation of the amount of fish that can be harvested is the first step in the right direction in halting both commercial and recreational exploitation. Also, stern measures must be put in place to stop the continuous harvesting of fish populations that are in endangered zone. By taking these fish out of the question for fishing companies, an entire fish population might be preserved for future use. A radical change in tone and culture is required, as the United Nations must make it very clear to all countries that international over-fishing is a major issue for the future. If global waters are to be safe guarded and preserved, this brave undertaking will be the first step in the right direction.