A new study covered by CNBC just announced that industrial fishing has now taken over more than half of the world’s ocean surface. Although fish do not constitute a major part of human diet on the whole, the effect of commercial fishing in new territory has the potential to rapidly deplete ocean resources. Environmentalists see this as serious cause for concern about the health of our world’s oceans and the supply of fish.
In order to combat the potential for over-fishing and the depletion of the global supply of marine resources, some countries, such as China, institute periodic fishing bans for months at a time. Some corrupt companies ignore these bans, which may not be strictly enforced in any event, but this is a step in the right direction to prevent environmental destruction. Other countries have created buffer zones to try to preserve marine biodiversity in areas that are hit hardest by industrial fishing.
Even though it may be alarming that so much of the world’s ocean surface has been taken over by commercial fishing operations, there is still plenty of ocean area left that could be conserved over time. Demand for fish is more cultural and social than it is essential to maintain populations, which means that there is less of a concern that the ocean resources will be used up out of necessity. With the advancement of fishing technology, there is also potential that fishermen and their vessels will leave less pollution in their wake for decades to come.