Conserving Fish Stocks Conserving Fish Stocks Conserving Fish Stocks

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Conserving Fish Stocks

All populations' increase due to offspring produced by mature adults

and immigration from other populations, and decrease due to death and

emigration - fish are no different. However the only concerns of the

fishing industry however are the changes in the number of offspring

that survive to join the population as juveniles, a process known as

recruitment, and the deaths, including the actual fish catches.

The oceans are vast and to study what is occurring in them is a

lengthy and difficult process. Because of this it is often quite easy

to forget or ignore the possible ramifications of human activities

like fishing. Humans have used the oceans as some kind of bottomless

resource for years. Huge amounts of dumping have occurred, including

materials ranging from raw sewage to nuclear waste and unwanted bombs.

Fish have been extracted with more and more efficiency as humans

become just too good as predators. Trawler design technology has

improved, with development of huge drift nets and ultra efficient

bottom dredging trawl nets. Sonar used to detect fish shoals has left

them with nowhere to hide; all this has just tipped the balance to


The ICES (international council for the exploration of the seas) has

tried to calculate values for sustainable fish yields, and this data

has been used to create fishing quotas for each country. In 1972 the

EU started the common fisheries policy, which sets total allowable

catches for each country, and this was finally finalised 11 years

later in 1983. Fish quotas are maintained in various ways, with

actions such as setting minimum mesh sizes for fishing nets to

regulate the sizes of fish caught and landed. Banning fishing in

certain areas during breeding times and also decommissioning boats to

decrease fleet size or restricting time each vessel can be out fishing

are also methods used.

There have been very little by way of success stories in conserving

fish stocks this might be due to the understanding of fish biology,

such as recruitment, and the models are faulty, so that predictions of

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