It’s Sunday, a relief from your hectic routine, and you want to spend time with your family. You decide to go on fishing, as you find it a pleasant and peaceful activity. You reach the lake, but your facial expression changes from joy to annoy. It’s the same lake you enjoyed visiting a few months ago, but now there’s a line of anglers on the bank playing with rods, plastic bags are floating in the lake; sides are full of wrappers, broken baskets, torn fishes and empty bottles half dug in the sand. Such a disappointment!
Is the fishing good for the environment? Fishing is good as well as bad for the environment. The environmental impacts associated with catching fishes affect the health of our oceans, fisheries, communities and economies.
In our daily life, we come across many things having both positive and negative sides. It depends on a person how he deals with such situations. Now the same scenario occurs here too. Fishing had both positive as well as the negative impact on the environment. In the coming paragraph, we will describe both these aspects and will leave it to you how you find fishing. Either as a saviour of the environment or the destroyer.
Fishing and the Environment Relationship
American ecologist Aldo Leopold who said ‘harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. This is true in angling (Fishing). You can’t take pleasure of fishing without taking care of the environment where you are fishing. Fishing and the environment are linked. A flourishing terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem is directly proportional to good fishing. Many of the anglers not only love fishing but also give their best to do as much as they can for the protection of the health of the aquatic ecosystem as a whole.
Fishermen act as a protector of the aquatic environment. They consider it their duty to look after their waters they fish in and are often the first one to notice and report and illegal activity or pollution incidents or any other environmental issues that need consideration.
Does Fishing Harm the Environment?
The mass fishing affects the health of oceans, and cause the disturbance in the aquatic ecosystem. For the last decades, new technologies have made it much easy to catch fish from oceans on a huge scale to add to tables of the earthly population.
There are many fishing practices which have negative consequences for the fishes. The main cause of ecosystem collapse in many aquatic systems is considered to be overfishing. Increasing demand for fishes and weak government controls overfishing makes fish population under pressure. Due to this, some specific species have become extinct.
Fish habitat can be damaged while fishing because of the use of heavy and large fishing gear. in the sensitive area, the bottom-living species, and the corals get long term damage because of this.
Parasites and the spread of disease:
Cultivated fish tainted with infections or parasites can spread these to their wild partners, influencing the strength of wild populaces close to fish ranches.
Wildlife, for example, albatross, sharks, dolphins, turtles and porpoises can be entangled and harmed by such fishing techniques, squeezing the living of these weak population.
What are the Most Destructive Fishing Techniques?
Some fishing practices are so much dangerous that they result in irreversible damage, and because of this, they have been declared illegal in different parts of the world.
Here we are going to discuss some of the most destructive fishing techniques:
· Blast Fishing: This is a cheap and insane way of fishing. Homemade bombs or dynamites made from locally available materials are used. The shock of the blasts kills fish, and they are collected then from the surface of the water or the bottom. This method kills a great number of fishes and damages other marine organisms in the area. Such blasts damage the surrounding and the nature around that part too. This practise is illegal in many waters.
· Cyanide Fishing: This technique is applied to catch fish alive for the aquarium use. This practise involves spraying sodium cyanide mixture in a targeted area to stun the fish. Due to this, a not only huge population of fish gets hurt but also other marine organisms like coral and coral reefs.
· Bottom Trawling: The towing of the fishnet along the seafloor, it is also called dragging, to get the target species of marine which is most bottom-living fish, quad, squid, shrimps and corals.
This practice has been used for over a century. It is known to be the main cause of overfishing and habitat damaging—the fishing gears damage sea bed and organisms living there.
· Ghost Fishing: Ghost fishing is the aftereffect of nets and other fishing materials that are thrown in the ocean. These nets keep on trapping fish and shellfish and even enormous marine vertebrates. They die of exhaustion or suffocation in the wake of attempting to get to the surface to relax. The issue of surrendered or lost equipment been enhanced by expanded fishing and the presentation of nets and line produced using a synthetic material.
Is Fishing Industry Bad?
If fishing is taken as a business on a larger scale, one always looks for his/her profit and advantage. Most of the people don’t even bother what and how it is being consumed.
Talking about the drawbacks of Fishing Industries and how are they bad:
Industries in activities like use of poisons, improper traps on the seabed, can cause harm not only to marine life but the ocean landforms too. Boats, gears, equipment, and shelters can gradually take up space which can later become a problem for the fish in the area.
Overfishing of the same species by fishermen can make them endangered and become extinct. If there is an excessive decrease in biomass and it is not dealt with immediately, then extinction of fish could be faced.
Why is Fishing Important?
“Fish provides more than one billion poor people with most of their daily animal protein.”
Millions of people are dependent on the fish whole around the world, either as producers or consumers. Fishing is important for the huge amount of people as their income source. Mostly poor people the whole livelihood relies on fishing as it is their primary income source. A great number of people are employed in fishers and aquaculture doing roles in processing and marketing.
Fish is a high protein and low-fat food with many health benefits. It is an important part of the diet as it includes nutrients which are essential for the human body. “Good” fat known as omega 3s is in high concentration while there is a small amount of “bad” fats present in fish.
Eating fish can help in maintaining cardiovascular health, may reduce tissue inflammation, eliminating blood clots, reducing depression and halting the mental decline in older people.
Benefits of Fishing to Health:
Fishing is such an activity which requires lots of concentration and awareness. This is almost same as meditation as it takes your mind off internal problems and stress resulting in reducing anxiety, fighting depression, and promoting relaxation. Studies have shown that stress hormones (cortisol level) get lower while fishing. The positive effect of fishing can last for as long as three weeks. It is recommended that people suffering from PTSD or who have experienced some trauma.
While fishing, you have the chance to soak up vitamin D from the sun, which helps in making the immune system stronger and promotes cell growth.
This low impact activity is a kind of cardiovascular exercise. It engages shoulders, back, arms, core and legs, improving the muscular movement and improving your balance.
What are Sustainable Fishing practices?
Some sustainable fishing practices are listed below:
Practice Carbon conscious Fishing: On of the big threat to many forms of aquatic life in present time is from climate change. Studies show that drought caused by global warming will harm stream and cause loss to the habitat of the many fishes.
You can, on your level, fight with such dangerous trends by reducing the amount of carbon that your fishing boat causes to the atmosphere. Replacing propeller with the stainless steel one will reduce the drag. Learn to go easy on the throttle. Keep the check on the boat engine maintenance.
Use Lead-free Tackle: According to the findings, fish exposed to enough amount of lead can cause a wide range of health issues, including muscular and neurological degeneration, paralysis and other reproductive problems. So it is better to use lead-free fishing gears.
Catch and Release: If you catch a fish which is not your target, releasing them back in waters gives them a chance to live and reproduce. But make sure to learn the techniques from catch and release experts, such as circle hook, where there is less chance of fish to die.
Pack out everything you pack in: This is about the garbage people make on the coastlines and in water. Things and garbage they leave behind after fishing which later cause a pollution problem. Waste can wrap around the propeller of your boat; the engine can be damaged. Debris like plastic bags and cigarette filters on ingestion by aquatic animals cause suffocation and starvation to them as they consider it food. So if you are really into love with fishing be a lover of nature first. Avoid littering and protect the environment by picking up somebody else’s trash as well.
The Need for Protecting the Aquatic Environment
The requirement for natural security has never been so incredible. Our freshwater and marine conditions are delicate and affected by a pile of human exercises. Our waterways, lakes and streams are under steady danger from horticultural run-off and diffuse contamination, intrusive species, point releases from sewage treatment works and modern movement, water extraction, ranger service action and considerably more.
I hope you gave this article a good read and all your queries may be solved regarding this topic. If you want to know more about fishing and things related to it, click on our website anytime.