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Research Papers on Overfishing

Research papers on overfishing examine the world's oceans and how they have be depleated of fish stock over the past Century. Our oceanography research papers are written by experts in scientific threory and writing, allowing you to receive the most up-to-date and accurate research on overfishing.

Overfishing research papers point out that over two decades ago, Marine Biologists warned that the Earth's oceans were becoming over-fished.  Scientists claimed that the fish stocks were continually depleting as the commercial fishing industry continued it's incessant netting. It wasn't until the early 1990's that the industry took the ecologists warnings of overfishing serious when their catches became noticeably smaller.

Part of the problem of overfishing is consumer ignorance.  For example, orange roughy began to appear in fish stores and on the menus at fancy restaurants in the U.S. just a decade ago.  Yet in that short time the species has become threatened with extinction due to overfishing. 

Consider the example of Orange Roughy when writing research on overfishing:Overfishing

  • The orange roughy lives up to a mile deep in cold waters off New Zealand. 
  • Scientists have learned that species living in deep, cold waters grow and reproduce very slowly. 
  • The orange roughy lives to be 150 years old and only begins to reproduce at age 30. 
  • The principal stocks of orange roughy around New Zealand collapsed. 
  • Still, today in Annapolis, Maryland, fish stores, orange roughy is available for $8.99 per pound, and there's no sign telling consumers that the species is threatened. "

People wouldn't eat rhinoceros or any other land creature that they knew was threatened with extinction.  But they're eating fish like orange roughy without a clue to what's happening," says Greenpeace fisheries expert Mike Hagler in Auckland, New Zealand.

The oceans were initially used as a food source.  Scientists have found evidence that the early coastal dwellers consumed shore shellfish and coastline fish.   As sea going boats were invented, the collecting progressed from off of the shore to farther out in the sea.  Larger, more effective nets widened the catch, the beginning of the depletion of the ocean's fish supply.  Yet early scientists such as T. H. Huxley alleged that the ocean's supply were too numerous and the fishing methods so inefficient to ever make a dent in nature's abundance.  Technology has advanced commercial fishing tremendously, as the example of Don Tyson illustrates.

In 1992, Tyson bought the Arctic-Alaska Fisheries Company, and three other fishing companies.  They operate a fleet of industrial super-trawlers that each cost $40 million to build and reach the length of a football field.  These trawlers pull nylon nets thousands of feet long through the water, capturing everything in their path --400 tons of fish at a single netting. These super-trawlers stay offshore for months at a time, processing and freezing their catch as they go, thus giving them  a major advantage over smaller land-based boats.

Approximately 40 percent of what these super-trawlers catch is considered trash and is ground up and thrown back into the ocean. They call it "bycatch" and, according to investigative reporter Jeffrey St. Clair, it can include endangered sea lions, and seals, as well as unwanted fish (In the northeast Atlantic alone, the bycatch in a year's time amounts to 3.7 million tons). Trawlers are now using technology developed by the military to fish waters as deep as a mile, catching species that few would have considered edible or useful a decade ago.  Now that the shallow fisheries are in serious decline, trawl nets fitted with wheels and rollers are dragged across the bottom of the deep oceans, removing everything of any size.  Squid, skate, rattails, hoki, blue ling, black scabbard, red crabs, black oreos, smooth oreos, deep shrimp, chimeras, slackjaw eels, blue hake, southern blue whiting, sablefish, spiny dogfish, and orange roughy are now being harvested from the deep ocean and sold in seafood stores, cooked into "fish sticks" at McDonald's, or processed into fake "crab meat" for seafood salads.

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