Alaskan Fishing

807 Words4 Pages
Ocean fishing is a big business, but this isn’t a recent development. The 17th century need for lamp oil, and therefore the whale blubber from which the oil was made, resulted in overfishing our oceans for their whales and witnessed the subsequent decimation of the whale population. By the mid-20th century, many of our world’s nations had passed favorable policies and laws, enacted subsidies, and made loans available with the intent of providing more, better, and more affordable fishing to big industrial fishing operations. These laws were not intended to preserve the fish, nor did they attempt to protect the environment to any meaningful degree. The world’s increasing population, both then and now, has continually pushed the demand for fish ever higher. Predictably, as with other large industries mostly concerned with seeking profits, large commercial fishing ventures aggressively pursued their goals and heavily utilized technological advances, and were thus able to find, catch, and process fish at an even quicker rate.

This big push for more and more affordable fish has by now risked our world’s fish population. A few examples: by the mid-1900s, Atlantic cod, herring, and California’s sardines were harvested to the brink of extinction. Demand for shark fin soup in Asia has contributed to serious overfishing. Sharks, along with Bluefin tuna and many other ocean fish species, are critically endangered.

Awareness of these issues is increasing, and limited steps have been taken, and continue to be taken. Deep-sea trawling, or bottom trawling, where a net is pulled along the bottom of the sea behind a trawler, removes much of the ocean life that resides there. In October 2006 a halt on the extremely harmful practice of deep-sea t...

... middle of paper ...

...l, mining, and use of vehicles or equipment in the waterway, among many other things that are listed. The Fishway Act helps to ensure that the passage of fish within streams continues to be protected.

Alaskan fishing has, however, been called one of the most dangerous jobs in the US by the CDC, with an annual fatality rate that is 26 times greater than all other US fishermen, reaching an average of 129 out of 100,000 fishermen deaths a year. The reality television show “Deadliest Catch” gives its viewers a glimpse of the horrible conditions that these men experience.

Alaska is attempting to address these safety issues. The AMSEA is a nonprofit organization that’s missions is to reduce injury and death in the marine and fresh water environment through education and training provided by a network of qualified marine safety instructors.

More about Alaskan Fishing

Open Document