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Instructor mr Zorica Prnjat Overfishing University of Belgrade - Faculty of Geography Teodora Popović, 1/2015 English language

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Contents Overfishing, what is it? Who is involved? Who is affected? When and why did this happen? Which countries are most responsible for overfishing in the world? Benefits and risks Warning! So how can we put it right? What can we do to help? Citations and reference

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Overfishing, what is it?

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Overfishing (non-sustainable use of the oceans) is the act of taking more fish out of the oceans that can be replaced through natural reproduction. The results not only affect the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish for their way of life (World Wildlife Fund [WWF], 2015, 6th of December).

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Who is involved? The people involved in the practice of overfishing are:

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Who is affected? Salmon, tuna and sardela are among the most threatened species. Large fish are the most popular catch. Crustaceans and shellfish are in danger, too. Besides, their disappearance threatens the survival of the animals that feed on them (Bomon, 2005: 106).

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The Problem of Overfishing Fishermen very often leave nets (a few meters long) to float on the surface of the ocean. Some nets go deep down the ocean. Besides fish, many sea animals are often captured into them, no matter if they are eatable or not. That is why they are called “the walls of death”.

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When and why did this happen? People have believed for centuries that ocean represents the inexhaustible source of fish. Nowadays, we know that is not true. New technologies enabled the construction of large reefer ships that catch fish constantly. Boats can stay out at sea for months at a time, and store large amounts of fish frozen. Equipped with sonar and radars, easily find a shoal of fish, so fish don’t have chance to escape. Fishing boats

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Current world fishing fleet has got 3.5 million of boats that catch more than 130 million of fish every year (Bomon, 2005: 106).

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Which countries are most responsible for overfishing in the world? Japan, China, the U.S., Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and South Korea have been named by Pew Charitable Trusts on a “shame list” of countries responsible for overfishing tuna in the Pacific (SeafoodSource.com., 2015, 6th of December). Running from the law: Chinese fishing boats tied themselves together to try and evade capture from South Korea's coastguard.

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Benefits and risks

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Warning! Overfishing needs to be stopped!

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"There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed" - Mahatma Gandhi (Greenpeace International [Greenpeace], 2015, 6th of December).

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We have lost 99 percent of European eels, and 95 percent of Southern bluefin and Pacific bluefin tunas. An increasing number of sharks and rays appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species each year (Greenpeace, 2015, 6th of December). Consider this... What kind of future is coming if we continue to catch fish with this pace? Too much profits lack of common sense. Too many boats fewer fish. Fewer fish empty seas. Empty seas the survival of animals in danger + the survival of people. Without the oceans there would be no life on Earth. No fish! No future!

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So how can we put it right? The first part of the answer is always cut down the number of boats on the water – starting with the biggest and baddest. Secondly – create oceans sanctuaries. We need to protect the fish populations that are left, and give them time to recover (Greenpeace, 2015, 6th of December).

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What can we do to help? Ocean protection begins on land. It begins with each of us. Overfishing is a big problem, but we have the power to stop it. Watch what you are eating and buy! The easiest way is to not eat or buy any endangered fish species. Choose wisely! Become an ocean defender and help influence change in your community. Participate in a campaign that’s goal is to stop overfishing. I know that human activities are having a serious impact.

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Citations and Reference • World Wildlife Fund [WWF]. (2015). Overview. Downloaded on 6th of December 2015. from http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/overfishing • Bomon, E. (2005). Ekologija/ Enciklopedija Zašto, kako: odgovori na dečja pitanja. Beograd: Evro • SeafoodSource.com. (2015). Pew: Japan, China, US, others overfishing Pacific tuna. Downloaded on 6th of December 2015. from http://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/pew-japan-china-us-more-overfishing-pacific-tuna • Greenpeace International [Greenpeace]. (2015). Overfishing. Downloaded on 6th of December 2015. from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/fit-for-the-future/overfishing/ • Greenpeace International [Greenpeace]. (2015). Tuna. Downloaded on 6th of December 2015. from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/fit-for-the-future/tuna/ • Photo by © WWF Overfishing http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/own_goals/overfishing/ • Photo by © AFMA Industrial fisheries of Orange roughy. Emptying a mesh full of Orange roughy into a trawler. http://www.worldwildlife.org/photos/industrial-fisheries • Photo: Ocean Issues Tissues http://oceanissuestissues.tumblr.com/ • Photo: The Problem of Overfishing http://impakter.com/overfishing-climate-change-hunger/ • Photo: Ocean Providence International, Inc. http://www.opiinc.org/Ocean-Problems/overfishing • Photo: The Encyclopedia OF EARTH http://wreckwatch.wordpress.com/ • Photo: Full Spectrum Biology http://fullspectrumbiology.blogspot.rs/2013/06/overfishing-end-to-ocean-biodiversity.html • Photo: ActivistAngler – Journal http://www.activistangler.com/journal/tag/overfishing • Photo: Greenpeace International Ocean Sanctuaries http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/marine-reserves/ • YouTube: Project Ocean - Can We Save Our Seas? https://youtu.be/cpPSU-E8Dwk

Tags: geography ecology

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