Sustainable State of the Fishing Industry
The Importance of the Oceans; The oceans contain a rich spectrum of natural life, from microscopic creatures to gigantic whales. They play a role in regulating the climate, sequestering carbon dioxide, and adjusting temperature patterns and weather patterns. At the same time, plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesizing plants produce more than half of the oxygen we use. Therefore, the health of the climate and the world depends on the oceans, the marine ecosystem. However, we are breaking down the most important key of life with the many activities that we have mentioned before.
Fishing Industry; Especially the documentary “Seapiracy”, which has been very talked-about recently, revealed the facts about the fish industry that roams the oceans and threatens the life on our planet. This documentary, which was found to be “creepy”, enabled me to write this article and to get acquainted with the vegetarian life seriously. Especially the torture under the name of “sustainable fishing”, the colour of the water, the fluttering of the whales made me cry the documentary, and that’s when I thought we should change this by doing serious research together with the other information I learned from the documentary. Fortunately, we are not on a completely irreversible path. According to scientists, if we pay attention, we can bring peace to the marine ecosystem in ten years. At this point, we must be aware of the causes of the problems and take our measures accordingly.
In trawling, which is a fishing tactic used by the fish industry in the oceans, the bag-shaped nets are pulled by ropes at both ends that extend to the seabed. Small fish can’t escape with this method, and it can also cause considerable damage to corals, plants and eggs at the bottom of the sea. It destroys 1.6 billion hectares of land annually. The concept of sustainability is completely against sustainable fisheries due to the damage it causes to fish eggs and this is a threat to the continuity of the fish species. It is also for our planet because of the damage it causes to plants in the ocean.
Especially with such practices, involuntary hunting is also done. In other words, what we are talking about here is the hunting of a different kind of sea creature than the one that is wanted to be hunted. One of the greatest destructions caused by excessive hunting is that millions of sea creatures have died as a result of accidental (!) fishing during the year.
Animals that are in danger of extinction are hunted, their lives are taken to earn more money, which does not benefit human health and violates the right to life of fish. The Japanese government, which furthered whaling to feed the famine population after the Second World War, continues to do so even though there is currently no demand for whale meat. So why? The answer is quite simple. The government cannot ban this hunting as there are many civil servants making money from this job. Prohibition requests are constantly being given further deadlines.
Sharks are hunted, their fins cut off and released back into the ocean. Since these creatures cannot swim, they await death by writhing at the bottom of the ocean. Is there a valid reason for inflicting this pain upon living things just because it is a phrase of “wealth”?
What is Sustainable Fishing?
After the Industrial Revolution initiated by England in the 18th century, steam trolleys began to be used. For this reason, fishing started with industrialization and there was a great increase in hunting. Thanks to the radar systems and various technologies that were later developed as “fish finders”, sea fishing declined after the 1980s and left its place to “commercial fishing.” This commercial fishery, on the other hand, has begun to reduce the population of sea creatures in the waters day by day and to risk the lives of societies that rely on sea creatures for their livelihood and nutrition. Thereupon, the “European Union Common Fisheries Policy” was formed; It is aimed to protect the equal and planned use of common resources by considering fisheries in economic, biological and social dimensions.
Sustainable fishing is one of the actions taken to protect the living population in the marine ecosystem. Although the aim here is to find the fish to be caught in the next period and to manage the stock in a balanced way, the researches conducted since the beginning of the 2000s underline that the fishery is not sustainable and the fish population is gradually decreasing. Sustainable Fishing requires the caught fish to reach maturity. Factors such as how much the fish develops throughout the year, what size it reaches maturity to spawn, and how many years it lives are important. The reason we are describing these situations is not valid. It is only to spread the knowledge and awaken the readers in order not to interfere with the life of animals.
In our country, there are laws under the name of sustainable fishing. The fishing of sea creatures after they reach a certain maturity according to the criteria we mentioned above, the trawling of the Marmara Sea and the Straits; On the other hand, the Straits are completely closed to fishing due to reasons such as not preventing the passage of fish to the Black Sea during the breeding period, preventing competition because the area is narrow and there is no distance for the fish to escape; It is these laws that the majority of the fish species caught are closed to hunting from May to September, as they breed in the summer months.
Sustainable fishing aims to keep the marine ecosystem dynamic, but research shows the opposite. Because even the brands that receive the “sustainability” stamp cannot be observed sufficiently. Overfishing continues, and even many nature-friendly organizations cannot prevent it. The reasons why organizations could not get ahead of them is that governments oppose this and, as we have seen in many documentaries recently released under the name of “meat industry”, organizations simply distribute these stamps for the sake of making money and do not look for them.
What Can We Do?
A vegetarian or vegan diet would be the best choice to help the marine ecosystem and animals. Of course, reducing it is also preferable; however, it may not be very effective if we use the example of “sometimes using an experimenting brand for animal experiments and sometimes a non-experimenting brand”.
At the same time, after doing all these, we should be very careful about recycling in order not to pollute the oceans. Remember, the marine ecosystem is the heart and lungs of this world.