Argumentative Essay Over Fishing

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When buying fish at the store or eating at a seafood restaurant most people don’t give much thought to where the food they’re eating came from beyond “the ocean.” Even less consideration is put into how the fish was caught or if the practice is sustainable. Today’s mentality is all about instant gratification regardless of future consequences, whether it be health or environmental risk. Many people may think the Ocean is an inexhaustible source of food because it covers over 70% of the Earths surface and is as deep as many of the largest mountains are tall. This assumption is incorrect and in part feeds into the reason why over-fishing occurs. Commercial fishing today employs many destructive fishing methods designed for the largest yield possible …show more content…
Today, humans threaten these ecosystems with climate change, pollution, and destructive fishing practices. Many of the fishing methods employed by commercial fisherman are designed to catch large amounts of fish with minimal effort. There are four primary methods used: trawling, purse seining, longlining, and gillnetting. Trawling involves pulling a net along the ocean floor to catch shellfish or in the water column to catch schools of fish. Purse seining use’s sonar to locate a school of fish. Fisherman then surround the school with a net shaped like a purse. They then close the net and haul in anything within its confines. Longlining is a simple method that uses a line, up to 50 miles long, with hooks attached. Any animal that bites the hook is hauled in. The fourth method, gillnetting, involves a long line of nets that fish cannot see. When fish swim through the net, their gills get caught, and they are stuck there until they are harvested. All of these methods lead to unintended catches, called …show more content…
Currently around 50% of the worlds fish are sourced from fish farms, but that is still not enough to stop the decline of wild populations. By 2030, 40 million more pounds of fish will need to be produced annually in order to meet current consumption levels. Aquaculture can make the harvesting of fish easier and more productive. Aquaculture can also be a solution to rejuvenate wild fish populations that have collapsed with a process called stock enhancement. This process involves breeding and raising fish in a hatchery and releasing them into the wild. In fact, 40% of salmon caught in commercial fishing zones in Alaska were bred and released from a hatchery. Without this supplement to the Alaskan salmon population their population numbers would be much lower. Aquaculture could also be a way to stimulate the American economy. The US has almost 20,000 miles of coastline, which mean we have a massive amount of territory for fish farms in the ocean. In 2011 the US had an 11.2 billion dollar trade deficit for seafood. America could easily become one of the largest exporters of seafood in the world if ocean fisheries were utilized. The deficit could be turned into a profit. Fish are also an extremely efficient way to produce protein. For instance, you need to invest 8.7 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of beef. In comparison, salmon only requires 1.2 pounds of feed to return a pound of salmon.

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