Thursday, July 28, 2011

Biggest Threats to World Oceans

Did you hear the one about a salmon named Rusty who wrote his book of poems whilst living in the Titanic? Aptly titled ‘The Titanic Verses’.

The Titanic disaster may have been a while ago, but it keeps rusting away in Davy Jones, locker alongside ships, submarines, oilrigs and other vessels that have fallen prey to Mother Nature or our own wraths throughout time. Pollution is one of the biggest threats to the Oceans, but unsustainable fishing is the largest threat to ocean life and habitats. 76% of the world's fisheries are already overfished or fully exploited and billions of unwanted fish die needlessly each year.

Commercial fishing ships have more efficient technology and better nets than ever. Some ruthlessly ignore fishing regulations in protected areas. Their anchors, trawling nets and the occasional spills from oil tankers and rigs are also contributing to the carnage out there.

New pollutions have also become more common since the dawn of aquaculture. The antibiotics in farmed fish and shellfish cause parasites to drop off them. These create deadly gauntlets for the wild fish migrating through the same waters. Storms, otters, seals all play their parts in escaped fish, eventually spawning hybrid freaks in our rivers and oceans as well.

The amount of people shore, coastal and sport fishing in the oceans of the world make for a massive portion of the fish taken out, but never officially accounted for. We anglers can play our roles in helping sustainability by carefully playing and handling the fish we place back and by only taking what we need to eat (and all our trash) home. Disgorging fishing hooks gently can also help more fish not only to live, fatten and fight another day, it may even save more poets like Rusty.

Orangefin anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus). Juvenile anemonefish often dive deep into the mouth of their host aurora anemone when threatened.

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