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Overfishing off the Gulf of CaliforniaBy Rebekah Ingersoll
What is Overfishing?Overfishing is a process in which too many fish are caught and results in the depletion of the population of fish which then leads to the disruption in the system it cannot support. This process can result from a number of different ways.
Catching too many adult fish that cannot reproduce fast enough. Pirate fishing (illegal fishing)Exceeding the carrying capacity a fishery cannot handle. Massive bycatch of juvenile fish.Destructive fishing practices.
The Effects of OverfishingOverfishing leads to many problems such as endangering the oceans ecosystem as well as the future for people who rely on seafood as a food and economic source. The global fishing fleet is 2-3 times larger than what the ocean can support. Unsustainable Fishing:90% of the worlds fisheries are being exploited or overfished. This is the leading threat to ocean life and marine habitats. Countless unwanted fish and other animals die from these fishers.
52% of the worlds fisheries are exploited, 32% are completely overexploited, depleted and are currently trying to recover from this strain.
Where is this happening?This is a GLOBAL problem.
We will be focusing on the Gulf of CaliforniaHere are a few examples:Southern ChileCoastal East AfricaArcticThe Grand BanksIrish Sea
Pacific OceanMade up of Northern, Central and Southern regions of the Gulf.Approximately 700 miles of coast.37 islands that play vital roles in flora and fauna life.One of the largest marine ecosystems in the world.UNESCO World Heritage SiteState Party is Mexico
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California has been known as the aquarium of the ocean. Its abundance of various marine animals such as 170 different sea birds, over 700 species of fish and a breeding ground for many other marine animals. Not to mention a seawater highway for migrating animals. However, commercial fishing is starting to take its toll on this stretch of waters early in the 1950s. Early protection from the Audubon Society in the 1950s and 60s to start studying areas of coast and islands of the Gulf. In 1962 the Mexican government granted protection towards efforts of conservation, called Marine Parks. History & Background
How does this problem affect people????Overfishing creates a problem for people on a global spectrum. Coastal cities or small towns that depend on local fishing can be deeply affected by overfishing. For the Gulf of California the ecosystem is suffering from this act, which then effects its residents. Nearly 6 million people are estimated to depend on fishing for food and means of support.
75% of Mexicos total annual fish catching is done in the Gulf. Due to overfishing it has decreased the population of many marine species. This leads to a significant problem for people as well as the ecosystem.
Scary thought isnt it?
MSC-certified seafood products. This means people are buying a product that is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council that only support sustainable fishing practices. Safe catch limits. Controls on bycatch. Protection of habitats all serve as environmental correctors. Most importantly one of the biggest ways to fix the issue is stronger monitoring of oceans and resilient enforcement of protection laws. How can we fix this?
Some Animals of the Gulf of California
Sperm WhaleHumboldt SquidLeatherback Sea Turtle Humpback Whale Vaquita
Pacific Goliath Grouper
References "Gulf of California." WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. .Henrichmann, Warnstedt J. "Overfishing in the Gulf of California." DW.COM. Global 3000, 18 May 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. .Lee, Mercedes, and Carl Safina. "The Effects of Overfishing on Marine Biodiversity by Mercedes Lee and Carl Safina." SraWeb: Lending Voices for a Healthy Ocean. N.p., 1995. Web. 2015. ."Overfishing -- Pristine Seas -- National Geographic." National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. ."Overfishing and Destructive Fishing Threats." Reef Resilience. N.p., 2 Sept. 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. .