Environmental Consequences of Fishing Practices

Human beings and fish have a long history of interdependence since time in memorial. Technology has empowered man in a way that has made man to have the overwhelming ability to catch fish at a large scale. However, this has had its negative repercussions which need tremendous attention. This article is dedicated to briefly discuss the environmental consequences of various fishing practices.


The invention of new technologies has allowed fishermen to track and catch huge amounts of fish at great depths. The result has proved a great curse on the aquatic ecosystem called trophic cascade. Trophic cascade refers to the over-proliferation of prey in the ecosystem due to the removal of their predators. This has been a common consequence in different parts of the world with the most famous being the over proliferation of cownose population in the South Eastern US due to overfishing of the sharks.


There are a number of fishing practices which can be effective but have a lethal potential to destroy the fish habitat. Fishing practices like dredging and sea trawling disturb the sea floor in a way that upsets the ecosystem. These fishing practices have a common characteristic of having equipment being dragged across the sea floor for catching fish and animals occupying the sea floor. These practices disturb the sea floor and cause the sediments to occupy the water thus degrading the water quality and the integrity of the floor which negatively affects floor dwelling species that contribute to the ecosystem.


Ghost fishing refers to a phenomenon that involves other animals and fish being caught by fishing equipment that has been left in the water. When some equipment like lures and lines are left in the water, they can continue to catch fish or animals and affect animal populations.


A number of fishing methods are exceptionally effective that they extend their catch to other undesired populations.  Good examples include long line fishing and trawling. The former involves the use of long lines which have baited hooks stretching over miles. Trawling employs gill nets which are stacked on the floor. Common victims include Turtles, the Albatross bird, sharks and a numerous other sea mammals.

To sum up, these are some of the common environmental consequences of fishing practices. There seems to be a clear need of drastic measures to counter these practices in an efficient way in order to preserve the ecosystem which has sustained human life through the ages.

Bio: Rik Flaxman is the CEO & Founder of 11must.com. Writing is his hobby and he loves to visit all over the world especially USA.

by Rik Flaxman

Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 09:21
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