Overfishing: Harmful Ecosystem Effects Leading Fishing Industry's Collapse

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In a new study, the Gulf of California is now an overfishing ground. The study shows that there are more small-scale fishing boats for maximum normal fishing capacity. The gulf is a fishing spot separating Baja, California and Mexico's mainland. This means that fisher-folks spend more work for less catch of fish that is not so economically and ecologically feasible.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego had researchers monitoring the extent of fishing in the gulf. The number of fishing had a total of 17,839 vessels at any time, 34% over the normal number of fishing boats to feasibly operate in that area. The region can only sustain 13,277 vessels for maximum boatloads of fish per trip, reports Science Daily.

According to Andrew F. Johnson, the lead author of the new study, overfishing is so rampant in the gulf that fishermen are catching less fish for more work. The team has a method to calculate the number of vessels that could efficiently fish in the area against the capacity of the catch. According to the collection of data by the researchers, overfishing is stretching the fishing capacity of the region that supplies 75% of fish for Mexico. The vicinity is also a spot for sports, diving, and other activities in its waters.

Overfishing decreases biodiversity in the area. All life forms are affected by the disturbance of their ecosystem. The disruption of food chains is due to the over-harvesting of fish. Coral reefs that protect the shorelines from storm surges and tsunamis, will ultimately be lost in the process. Overfishing will deplete the food source of the gulf that supplies Mexico and the state of California and with no more fish to catch, the fishing industry will eventually collapse in the area. These are the harmful effects of overfishing, reports Science News Online.

Overfishing is now illegal in the gulf and stricter punishment and penalties are due for implementation. Other steps to curb overfishing is the education of fishermen by seminars and forums giving them the clear picture of the effects of overfishing.

Read original story at The Science Times