Our oceans have been in limbo for several years now. To say that irresponsible waste management, overfishing, and destructive fishing practices, as well as the severity of plastic consumption are the culprit is an understatement.
Sustainability is a buzzword thrown around a lot in various industries but is only put into businesses practices for less than 20%. This begs the question, how will the fishing industry take the sustainable route to the future?
The Fine Line With Fish Stocks
When it comes to fishing and sourcing seafood sustainably, a new lens must be put in place. This technique drives the future, and, frankly, the survival of our oceans heavily depends on measuring the lengths in which we put sustainability into practice.
Ensuring the fish population is productive and healthy is the first on the agenda. There’s no one way to know how much fish is left in the ocean. Thus, fishing must be subject to a level that will allow the activity to continue indefinitely without harming any major species and other marine life.
By effectively harvesting and putting a stop to unregulated fishing activities and maintaining fish stocks within biologically sustainable limits, producing above the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) is a possible approach to sustaining balanced yet sustainable fish stocks.
Minimizing Environmental Impact
According to Sustainable Fisheries, if better management practices were upheld and consistently managed worldwide, our oceans could have more than 90% sustainable fisheries by 2030. With better management and strategic approaches applied in commercial and industrial fishing, the amount of fish in the ocean could double by 2050, thus generating a global maximum sustainable yield of an estimated 95 million tons.
That’s the best-case scenario; however, as more fisheries develop in various parts of the world to adapt to the increasing demand for fish and seafood consumption, finding a good market will be challenging. Thus, the need to diversify the way home cooks, chefs, and restaurants develop fish recipes. In these efforts, new-age harvesting techniques and technology go hand-in-hand to achieve cost-efficient ways to source fish without hurting the waters.
Maximizing New-Age Fishing Technology
There are several new technologies gradually making their mark in aquaculture and modern fishing. A new web-based platform called Global Fishing Watch is a monitoring system developed by Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google to sort through vessel traffic intensity in international fishing waters. It utilizes data from terrestrial and satellite sources with powerful algorithms that play a role in oscillating suspicious vessel behaviors.
Another venture launched by Pew Charitable Trusts and Satellite Applications Catapult is the Eyes on the Seas Project. This project prioritizes cutting-edge technology while using fishing vessel databases and oceanographic data to help authorities combat suspicious fishing activities.
In the UK, SafetyNet Technologies came up with LED lighting for fishing gear that can be manipulated to create vibrancy in color range for night fishing activities. This simple form of technology has aided in smaller fishing communities that help illuminate the net and effectively attract or repel species fishers are trying to catch. It makes use of behavioral responses to light to reach specific species.
Hyping the Hype
There’s no doubt that we need to act on the big ocean issue. Whether it’s using fewer straws, checking where your weekly Fishta catch comes from, or actively learning more about sustainable fishing and making time to develop new ways to sustainably source fish in your fishery, the need to amplify this “hype” is a must for the sake of our global waters.
By utilizing new technology and proposing feasible solutions to local governments, there is still a chance we find ourselves with oceans that can produce 90% sustainable global fisheries in the future. It may seem far-fetched right now, but hyping the hype with sustainable fishing is a global effort to help restore the balance we need and want in our oceans.
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