The Impact of Overfishing on Marine Ecosystems

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Humans and the Oceans

Humans throughout existence are dependent on oceans not only for food but also for recreation, economic opportunities, transport routes and even as a waste dump among others. Evidence of human's impact continues to be found over the oceans including in the most remote polar areas. There are various negative issues on the ocean as a result of human utilization such as plastic trash, overfishing, habitat destruction, dead zones among others which do threaten not only marine habitats and species but also human health, security and general way of life. This paper discusses the causes and problem of overfishing and the possible solutions to this problem.

The Problem of Overfishing

Overfishing is considered one of the worst impact humans have in the oceans. The advancement of fishing equipment, larger ships, and new tracking technologies has resulted in significant reduction of fish stocks around the world (Zhouh et al., 2015). The world's fish species are reported to be entirely depleted or exploited. Humans continue to capture fish faster than they can reproduce hence causing harm to the entire ecosystem which interacts with those species including the food they eat as well as the predators that feed on them (Science Learning Hub, 2018). Thus, such losses result from the vulnerability of the ecosystems to other disturbances such as pollution. Other than wiping out a species, overfishing also impacts the other marine animals' species which are dependent on those fish for survival (Pikitch, 2012). Human too utilizes destructive methods in fishing including how they pull the catches; bottom trawling that leaves the habitat destroyed while scooping up much unwanted fish. There are various reasons why humans engage in overfishing such as many people looking for fish for food, fishermen in search of making a living from the sales or even promoting the health of fish oils.

Solutions to Overfishing

It is important to have a complete overhaul of fishing policies, call for global cooperation in curbing the menace to achieve a sustainable system. Furthermore, some seas require long term fishing bans to ensure recovery of certain species (Zhouh et al., 2015).


Pikitch, E. (2012). The Risks of Overfishing. Science,338 (6106), 474-475.

Science Learning Hub. (2018). Humans Impact on Marine Environments. Retrieved 2018, from Science Learning Hub:

Zhouh, A. K. (2015). Ending Overfishing while Catching More Fish. Fish and Fisheries,16, 716-722.

October 05, 2023

Hobby Overpopulation

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Fishing Population

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