Oceans plays a great role in our world, they are the lifeblood of Earth and humankind. An ocean holds all of our marine life, which now is endangered because of overfishing and pollution. Overfishing is taking away the wildlife from the sea at a drastic rate, which makes it impossible to replace the same amount of species. The documentary “End of Line” sheds light on how modern day fishing techniques are destroying the ecosystems across the globe. The reason lies in the fact that because of improved technology, consumer market and population growth, it is believed that the commercial fish species may soon be extinct. In the span of the past 100 years the amount of fish caught have increased exponentially, but at the same time the official figures do not reflect the actual amount of fish that is caught all around the world. A prominent example of a country that produces incorrect fish stock data is of China, because China wants to come off as a leading supplier of fish, as a result the data overestimates the number of fish caught. The United Nations have stated that the amount of fish caught had doubled over the course of past 50 years from 40 to more than 80 million tons. Although these figures are not exactly correct but they are somewhat close. For example the catch of blue tuna fish is considered to be illegal, however they are oversupplied in the consumer market due to the increased demand and better technology. Canadian fisheries suffered a lot when 75% of them were overfished or exploited hence affecting the community adversely.
In the documentary, scientists argue that how overfishing is totally ignored by the government officials, and big restaurants. The scientists have warned about the depletion of fish in 30 years if we do not change the amount of consumption and make appropriate laws to protect the marine life. According to the documentary, the government takes unfavorable advantage of the fishing industry in order to boost their economy by exporting and importing, while not worrying about the extinction of the species. As a result, scientists across the globe have set amount of catch limits, specifically in the EU, because of a larger area. On the other hand the politicians working within the EU have ignored the pleas of marine scientists to impose catch limits. It is not only endangering the marine wildlife but also young fishermen’s’ in developing countries like Senegal, who are not able to compete with the international fleets, therefore they can not feed their families and hence are forced to migrate to other countries for better living conditions. The scientists have found out that currently 14 billion tons of fish are cached annually and it is recommended to reduce the number to 10 billion in order for the species to recover from the effects of overfishing. However it was reported that nearly 60 billion tons of fish are cached every year, which is why we are encountering the problem of overfishing.
Resources in the sea are treated as “commons” because of the fact that there is a global phenomenon of overfishing that has already resulted into the extinction of many fish species. If overfishing is not regulated, then ultimately this world will experience the extinction of plethora of marine species that would have negative externalities for the human population around the globe. The documentary also states that the big corporations like Mitsubishi play a major role in overfishing. In Japan they control almost 60% of fish imported from EU to fish markets, and has expanded its freezer capacity to hold extra Bluefin. The scientist believe that Mitsubishi is doing so in order to increase its profit but at the same time the stockpiling could lead to extinction of Bluefin and their price in the near future will skyrocket, which will overall have negative impact on the society and country as a whole.
In the past 50 years the fisheries have returned lower yields and humans have begun to understand the importance of sea wildlife. There are number of protected measures that are implemented to preserve the marine life for example quotas can be brought to fisherman in case of overfishing, which reduces the value of their stock. Iceland follows this system as a result they have ample amount of fish in the sea waters. Another method is Marine Reserves, which focuses on using only 50% of the ocean for fishing and leaving the 50% so the marine life can be sustained. One other way is called Marine Stewardship Council; it has three stringent criteria that the fish must not be overfished, it should be maintained to the ecosystem and it also should be in accordance with local and international laws. All these initiatives have helped to save the marine life as many well-known corporations also focuses on the strict implementation of laws for example Mc Donald’s and Wal-Mart.
Overall, in order to improve the state of the ocean we should focus using better techniques to catch fish instead of using aggressive strategies, which results in waste. Furthermore, better enforcement laws and increased use of aquaculture should be encouraged to overcome this problem. The consumer products should have details on them before being bought so that the consumer should have the sense of what he/she is buying. Overall, we should take all these measures or our marine life would be endangered shortly.