Overfishing is the practice of fishing a species to the point of collapse or depletion where they can no longer recover themselves without intervention. It is a non-sustainable method that endangers our Earth’s oceans and threatens a way of life for millions of people. 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean. Residing within the oceans are half of all the species on the planet. Ocean fish and other species constitute 20% of all animal protein in the human diet. According to recent reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “almost 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully-to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse.” Overfishing is a problem that has social and political implications, as populations, especially in poorer countries, lose out on their main source of food and income. Countries around the world must decide how to regulate and enforce safe fishing practices, and large fishing fleets need to follow laws and guidelines. Overfishing also has environmental and ecological implications. Legal and illegal fishing practices destroy habitats and as fish die out or become depleted, important lines in the ecological food chain are broken. It is up to all of us, as a global community, to take responsibility to protect the natural world that sustains our existence. The good news is that we still have time to make a change in the current ways of overfishing. It is not too late to enact stricter laws and penalties for illegal and unsustainable fishing practices and to protect endangered fish species and habitats. In this way we can re-grow those populations that have been over fished to exploitation and protect future species from the same fate. By educating yourself and others to the problem of overfishing, you can do your part to make a difference.
The Portland State University Spring 2012 Senior Capstone Multimedia Class is a group of 17 students from diverse backgrounds, coming together to raise awareness of the impact that global overfishing has upon the ecosystem. We believe we are not just students earning a grade or degree, but rather we are individuals working united to leave an impression upon our communities. We believe we can as a whole improve the ecosystem while preserving the local economy.
Spring 2012 Class Led By Professor Rob Bremmer
Tala Abu Alia