Ms. Vicencio's inquiry:
Before I started doing any form of research I jotted down my thoughts on the topic of OVERFISHING. This included questions I had, knowledge I already had about overfishing, and subtopics I wanted to explore further.
These 'thoughts' are what led me to dive deeper into my research on the topic of overfishing.
A quick search on overfishing resulted in a few INTERESTING FACTS:
I then thought...
HISTORY OF OVERFISHING:
QUESTION: How can we achieve SUSTAINABLE fishing?
Sustainable: able to continue for a long time.
Why is fish an important source of food?
Many people around the world depend on fish and fish products to survive. Fish is a source of healthy and inexpensive food, especially for protein, which is an important part of our diet.
Fish provides a huge chunk of the protein for billions of people around the world.
Without fish, malnutrition and disease would increase.
The fishing industry also provides economic security (JOBS) for many costal communities.
Fish/ fishing also plays an important part in many cultural traditions.
The fishing industry:
Effects of overfishing...
Methods of fishing...
Fresh water overfishing...
Who can I contact to get more information on these topics?
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
I emailed and spoke to a few individuals who work for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the World Wildlife Fund, and I asked several questions and this is what I found out...
Food Chain - REACTION
Ocean predators such as sharks, tuna, and marine mammals are at the top pf the food chain. They have a major influence on the populations of their prey.
When the top predators are overfished, this does not mean that all the other organisms in the food chain will live longer. In actuality, while some populations increase following the loss of he top predator, others may decrease.
The decline of a top predator can lead to an explosion in the population if that predator's prey. This population explosion is followed by a reduction in the prey of that species, an so on down the food chain.
Methods of fishing: MOST damaging, SOMEWHAT damaging and LEAST damaging
Pots and traps
The hook and line
FRESH WATER OVERFISHING
I then stopped researching and I began to think of where I live and how I can relate to the issues surrounding overfishing. I decided to look at overfishing in Ontario, and I began to ask questions about species that were overfished here in my own province. I researched and the. I asked experts about the Lake sturgeon.
In the past, Aboriginal people called them "Buffalo of the water" because they were such an important food source.
The flesh and the roe (caviar) was consumed.
Also the skin of the lake sturgeon was used for leather and their bones for needles and arrowheads, their oil for fuel and medicine, their stomach linings for drum coverings, and isinglass (from the swim bladder) for glue and paint.
Lake sturgeon also had spiritual significance.
Around the 1860d, settlers of Canada began to catch the sturgeon for food. Harvesting peaked in 1900.
In 1900, over one million kilograms of sturgeon was fished from Lake Ontario, and 445 000 kilograms from Lake Winnipeg. By 1910 Winnipeg fisheries closed because sturgeon populations crashed.
80% of sturgeon in the Great Lakes had been removed by the late 1930s.
None of the threatened lake sturgeon populations have recovered to harvestable levels.
In many parts of Canada, catching sturgeon is either prohibited or done as catch-and-release.
Then I began to ask myself about my own role in overfishing. What can my role be in the pursuit for sustainable fishing???
I needed to become an informed consumer. How will I accomplish this?
I need to pay more attention to the labels on canned and frozen fish. I also need to be more aware of my own fishing habits.
These are questions that I began to ask myself and questions I challenge all of you to ask yourselves next time you consume fish.
Another form of action that I am involved in is that I participate in environmental conferences where I speak about the issues surrounding overfishing and the possibilities of sustainable fishing in Canada and around the world!