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Water Resource Plan

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Essay title: Water Resource Plan

It is clear to me, after reviewing the video, that the water resource problem at hand is overfishing. I believe that overfishing has always been a problem, however, I feel as though it has become more of one recently. When you think of the word overfishing, what comes to mind? I am sure that the same thing came to your mind as it did to mine. Simply put, fishing too much. If that’s what you thought, congratulations, because that is exactly what overfishing is. Commercial and non-commercial fishermen are fishing so much that the fish cannot sustain their population. The fish become fewer and fewer, until there are no more fish to catch. This is also the result of fishermen catching so many adult fish that not enough remain to breed and replenish the population (Overfishing, 2007).

Overfishing has become a huge problem recently. I know that I could talk until I am blue in the face regarding this issue and how it has become more of a problem. I do not know about how, however, I seem to understand things more fully if I can actually see it. The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) release a two yearly report that breaks down what percentages of certain species of fish are either exploited or close to being exploited.

• 52% of fish stocks are fully exploited

• 20% are moderately exploited

• 17% are overexploited

• 7% are depleted

• 1% are recovering from depletion (Overfishing, 2007)

Based upon the statistics shown above, it is obvious that nearly 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully to over-exploited or depleted. With statistics as clear as these, one can only assume that overfishing is more destructive to the ocean than toxic pollution or degrading water quality (Declining Fish Stock VLR).

After discussing the issues regarding overfishing, the solution seems rather simple: stop pulling so many fish out of the ocean. While that is a huge part of it, I believe there are other steps to follow. Below is a table outlining action items in my sustainment plan for a solution to overfishing.

Action Items Action Steps Timeline

Establish marine reserves Implement the use of marine reserves (fenced off areas) for extractive use, such as fishing and mining. Month 1-4

Reduce Bycatch Continue to implement and better develop the gear used while fishing to eliminate the possibility of bycatch Month 1-4

Inform consumers regarding fish that they eat Research and provide information to consumers about fish they buy.

Provide consumers with information on fish that are not in danger of being overfished (Overfishing, 2005) Month 2-3

I think that the steps mentioned above could definitely lead us on a better path to preserving our ocean and the species that are in it. By establishing marine reserves, it will allow for oceans to restore their health as well as putting endangered species and habitats on the road to recovery. Marine reserves allow species the freedom to mate, breed, and feed without the pressures of capture or habitat loss (Solutions to overfishing).

Did you know that bycatch makes up one quarter of all the fish caught globally? Unfortunately, bycatch is, most times, thrown back into the ocean dead. Some gear has already started to be developed in hopes to eliminate bycatch, like pingers. Pingers are small-sound emitting and dolphin-deterring devices that are attached to fishing nets (Solutions to overfishing). Often times, in the past, dolphins have been caught in tuna nets. Dolphins are mammals and do not have gills, so what has happened is that dolphins have drowned while caught in the net underwater. Another option that has been developed is escape hatches in the net. Escape hatches allow those species that were not the intended target to escape. While escape hatches are a viable solution, they are not 100% perfected, as much of the targeted

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