The Perils of OverfishingTweet
Media Source: National Public Radio
Program Name: Fresh Air
Show Name: The Perils of Overfishing
Broadcast Year: 2009
Original Link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120013107
Daniel Pauly, a professor at the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia, describes in this podcast how our fishing vessels are moving further out and deeper into the ocean than ever before. In the 1990’s we started fishing the deepest parts of the ocean possible and the last frontier available, more than 2 miles below the surface. The fishing industry switches species after they overfish and run out of the current popular species. In doing this we see them change names of what are otherwise unattractive fish like the slimehead, which we now know as the orange roughy or the Patagonian toothfish, which we know as the Chilean seabass. They also change how they process these animals so that we don’t see the ugly features like the big, toothy heads. A major problem with deep fish like the orange roughy is that they are slow producing fish, meaning they live very long (up to 150 years) and take 30 years to mature. This means they cannot keep up with our incredible fishing technology like sonar and troll nets as long as seven jumbo jets. Other ocean changes we are seeing are major algae blooms since we remove the bigger fish that feed on the small fish and this spike in small fish diminished the small insects and animals that eat the algae, leading to massive algae blooms. Additionally the food web is changed when you take out predators as their prey, like jellyfish, can become incredibly overpopulated and be a danger for humans and other animals alike. Overall, the conclusion is that our technology is the main source of the problem because the fish do not stand a chance with the floating processing facilities and precision military grade equipment these vessels use to find fish.