World's Fish Supply Running Out

Essay by rel541College, UndergraduateA, March 2007

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Juliet Eilperin's Washington Post article, "World's Fish Supply Running Out", Researchers Warn reports an international group of ecologists bleak forecast for the future of fish. Overfishing, water pollution, harmful government subsidies and the resulting decrease in marine biodiversity is predicted to cause a catastrophic collapse of the ecosystem and fishing industry that depends on it. The author says that this report should be a wakeup call because of its potential effects on the global economy. Scientists are in disagreement as to whether the solution to this problem is applying restrictions on overfishing or increasing the amount of farmed fish. In fact, some scientists disregard this study as entirely inadequate and overly pessimistic. This article demonstrates that the fishing industry values fish for its market value, while hiding ecological problems and taking advantage of government subsidies to protect profits.

The fishing industry has placed a price tag on fish and the entire water ecosystem.

Market value ultimately determines the worth of this finite natural resource. The article states that fishing is an $80 billion a year industry and an intricate part of the global economy. The author quotes the vice president for the advocacy group National Environmental Trust, Gerald Leape, who reacted to the scientific report solely with concern for the economy. The article stresses that the implications of overfishing and pollution are an economic problem rather than an ecological crisis. Scientific data that indicates a bleak fate for the future of water ecosystems is followed by commentary on the economic outlook for the fishing industry. The value of marine life is determined by the amount of profit it produces. There is little focus on the importance of fish to the global ecosystem.

The article gives fishery management officials the chance to confute the journal Science's published report on the declining...