The fishing industry constitutes any activity or industry concerned with processing, culturing, preserving, storing, transferring, marketing, or selling fish products. Some of the main industries that utilize the services of these service providers include the fisheries, food processing industries, and pharmaceutical industries. Other associated services and processes that are commonly included in the fishing industry include the following: bait processing (fish conditioning), ice fishing, underwater photography, sports fishing, trapping (catch and release), ice fishing guides, sealing (freezing) and many others. Since the early nineties, the number of people actively engaging in these activities has significantly increased. In most developed countries, the total number of fishing-related jobs is in excess of twenty million.
In most developed countries, the fishing industry contributes over ten percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The fishing industry employs a significant number of people, both directly and indirectly. Those engaged in direct employment are generally employed in fishing companies, fishing villages or directly employed by the fishing industry. Indirectly, fishing industry workers include managers, engineers, technicians, administrative staff, sales personnel, finance staff and employees of the farming sectors. Fishing related investment, which is mainly in the form of loan taking or lease of productive assets, adds value to the GDP of many countries.
Many types of fisheries exist. The largest and most prosperous sector in most developing countries is the commercial fishing industry. This type of fishing industry processes raw materials and captures aquatic animals and plants for onward processing. Fishing companies employ a large number of workers such as divers, seamen, fishermen, cooks, loaders and officers. Although small-scale fisheries are common in some developing countries, commercial fishing account for the overwhelming majority of the total annual fish harvests. Over the last few decades, the growth in demand for fish and the improvement in techniques of capture, packaging, weight and temperature handling, as well as new technological developments have led to a dramatic increase in the size of the global catch.
Harvesting methods have also progressed dramatically and changed a lot over the years. Long before the commercial fishing industry came about, wild oceans were the only source of seafood. There were no fishing lines, and fishing meant wading into the water to try to catch the rare and exotic varieties that lived there. Today, with better management systems and improved technology, it has become possible to harvest a wider range of fish populations and have them processed into ready to eat products.
One major issue facing the fishing industry nowadays is the environmental impact of the fishing industry. Overfishing has contributed largely to the destruction of aquatic habitats. Seaweed and marine life have been affected by overfishing too. Marine biodiversity has been reduced as fishing vessels leave areas at the mouth, which used to be full of diverse species of fish. Furthermore, fishing causes the death of more than 11 million marine animals annually. This figure is made even worse by the fact that there is very little if any awareness of these deaths in the general public.
In many parts of the world, including the United States, the recreational sector of the fishing industry continues to be under-estimated in terms of direct impact on the environment. Fishing vessels only need to use two nets for every boat they own, whereas the commercial fishing industry needs to make use of as many as 50 individual nets. This means that many fishing vessels actually have more nets than their allowed number. Also, the nets are often made from illegal wildlife caught products, such as stingrays and turtles. As a result, these products frequently enter into the seafood supply. These products often end up in the local and state seafood markets, causing severe imbalances in ecosystems when these creatures mingle with local marine life.
On the other hand, overfishing can have a much larger and more severe negative impact on the marine ecosystems. Overfishing can cause massive die-off in certain areas. Millions of fish, in certain areas of the oceans, can die in just a few months because of too much overfishing. Overfishing can also lead to negative impacts on over one thousand species of marine life. If something is not done to control overfishing, then we could see extinctions in our natural environment as well.
It is important for both fishermen and consumers to become aware of the effects of commercial fishing boats on the environment and on the biodiversity of various ocean ecosystems. If we fail to protect these delicate living systems, we could see mass extinctions in the human population as well. If you would like to learn more about this topic, feel free to visit my website. In this article you’ll discover how you can take action against the destructive fishing industry and help save our precious ocean ecosystems.