ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Fishing:Problems affecting the world’s fishing industry
- Slight changes in conditions in the continental shelves alter the food chain.
- This reduces fish production.
- An example is the decline in anchovy fish production off the coast of Peru.
- The environmental change has been a result of changes in the flow of ocean currents.
- Coastal Peru is normally washed by the cold Peruvian current from the South.
- This current is rich in nutrients.
- The area is occasionally invaded by a warm current from the equatorial areas to the North.
- This current is called the El Nino.
- This invasion affects the mixing of water due to upwelling.
- This results in a reduction in plant life and hence fish for that period.
- This leads to a decline in anchovy fish which feed on small plants (plankton).
- Changes in the condition of the continental shelf can result from pollution.
- Pollution can be caused by industries, oil spills or human settlement.
- Pollution has highly altered coastal environments in western North America, Western Europe and China.
- Pollution causes a reduction in plankton, thus drastically reducing fish population in the affected areas.
- Poor management of fisheries and a rising demand for fish, in both the developing and developed countries has resulted in over-fishing.
- Most of the world’s major fisheries are now over-fished.
- Fishing nations are now obsessed by the need for maximum profit and market demands for fish rather than the need to maintain fish stocks at sustainable levels.
- Fish are not given time to mature and reproduce before harvest.
- Rich countries are now entering into fishing agreements with developing countries to extend their fishing grounds.
- For example Namibia entered into a fishing venture with Spain.
- The problem of over-fishing is therefore being exported to the developing countries.
To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page
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