Marine life, around the globe, is under dismal threats. With a rapid increase in demands for seafood, the supply, over-hunting, has given birth to different mafias to ruin the ecosystem underwater. To understand the anomaly, it is pertinent to mention that the fisheries are worth $246 billion worldwide.
Unfortunately, the concerned authorities are bribed in return for overexploitation of underwater life. Since the illegal hunting of Bluefin Tuna, whales, sharks and the destruction of Coral reefs and Kelps began, both marine lives, as well as the earth’s environment, began to transform.
Nevertheless, a great upheaval to the marine environment is the bycatch- incidental catch of unwanted sea turtles, juvenile fish, crustaceans, and cetaceans. Marine scientists believe that if this exploitation continues at its existing pace, then we are not too far to see an empty ocean by 2048.
Besides, information reveals that more than 5 million fish, excluding other crustaceans and mollusks, are killed every single minute, taking the numbers to 2.3 trillion annually.
Endangering the fish population
In Pakistan, the reduction of high-priced fish like Simon, Zardum, Pamplet, and Kalgan fish and the extinction of Galo and Kalaki fish- in Pasni Balochistan- has dwindled fisheries to 29 percent.
Water pollution in the coastal areas, and deforestation of mangroves- a breeding place for shrimps, prawns, and other fishes- have been the main cause of destruction to fisheries in Pakistan. Once, in 2010, exports of fish and fishery products were valued at $266 million, represented 1.2 percent of the total merchandise trade.
Moreover, the detailed analysis shows that overfishing- a patchy menace for the world’s aquatic life- has pushed the pelagic world towards the edge of an abyss.
According to the independent news sources, the Mitsubishi Conglomerate- a popular group of Japanese multinational companies- has cornered approximately 40 percent share of the World’s market for Bluefin Tuna.
The purpose of freezing the helpless fish, in advance, is to revive the market at times especially when the Tuna population comes to near extinction. Owing to its significance, Bluefin Tuna belongs to a very sumptuous niche of biotic life- the most expensive but vulnerable fish in the oceans.
Similarly, in a recent development, the Japanese prime minister- Yoshihide Suga- has announced to release Fukushima wastewater into the sea. These waters contain nuclear hazards like tritium which will damage the fish population to a large extent.
Threats to sharks, dolphins, and whales
Likewise, the consignment of Shark-fins- to China- has created a great rumpus in the world as the Shark fin soup is considered the most luxurious and widely consumed meal in China. In spite of the ban on shark fin, and a considerable decline in its consumption since 2011, the horrible sharks finning and dumping their bodies are still running at a massive scale.
Not only its illegal import and export are facilitated by the mafias, but also a ‘shark fin city’ has been established in China for further distortion of the innocent species. The whales, on the other hand, are also close to extinction due to human atrocities.
Apart from killing whales and finning sharks, dolphins- the ever peaceful fishes-are also in imminent threat. The trained dolphins are worth more than $1 million. Anyhow, dolphins, while breathing out, release phytoplanktons which are considered as the source of absorbing carbon.
It is known that the Amazon rainforest generates 85% percent oxygen for us; the phytoplankton contributes more than four times high- than the Amazon rain forest- to our nature. Slashing out its source- dolphins through bycatch or by other means- will automatically obliterate their existence, resulting in a heightened quantity of carbon in the atmosphere.
Impact on Earth
Trawling- fishing with large nets- is another source of devastation to maritime. Not only fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and sea turtles, are unprotected from it, but the coral reefs and Kelps are also impacted by large nets that are frequently dragged on the sea bed.
It is believed that most of the creatures die from these nets and plastics. The damage to coral reefs is overhunting. Scientists have concluded that if this rhythm goes on, 90 percent of coral reefs will disappear by 2050 as fish were the only sources that kept the coral reefs alive with their feces-excreted wastes.
Aforesaid facts have revealed the dangers of excruciated loot of mother nature. According to the New York Times, fish are the next endangered species. The extinction may expedite a myriad of ramifications to humankind.
From overfishing to deforestation, the Earth will become full of infections. Alterations in climate and scuttled oxygen levels in the environment will bedevil the habitation around the world, plunging lives into darkness.
What needs to be done?
Despite manifold complications, there are still silver linings in the dark clouds. The modifications in fishing gear- for hunting fish- might be helpful to thwart the incidental bycatch.
Empowerment of the Sea shepherds team, and increase their jurisdiction to far waters is the need today. Similarly, a global nexus on maritime preservation is the need of the hour to halt the protracted overfishing.
Moreover, a strict check and balance, with huge penalties, would be a renaissance for marine life. By prohibiting illegitimate hunting at the global level, the United Nations should stand on a single page to punish the wrongdoers, canceling their permits forever.
Summing up the facts, since the industrial revolution, maritime life has been prone to many intricacies. Falling prey to greed and competition, human beings have inevitably submitted themselves to wrongdoings, exploiting aquatic resources at a dreadful pace.
Read more: Nature under assault: key indicators
It is time for global participation to overcome the crisis. If this over-exploitation continued, it will not only result in seafood shortages but also harm the climatic conditions around the globe.
Mother Nature always reacts back, so caring is the only remedy to escape from its wrath.
The author is an advocate by profession and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.