Our oceans are huge. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that about 97 percent of the earth’s water is contained in oceans. It was once believed by many that there was no way we could possibly contain this vast fishery resource. However, we continue to study our influences and learn better ways to protect the oceans.
The orange roughy makes a good case for the need for fishery protection studies. This delicious deepwater fish found its way onto restaurant menus in the 1980s. For example, in New Zealand, when commercial catch quotas began to decline, these fish were found to grow extremely slowly. We now know that orange roughy only reproduce between the ages of 15 and 20 and can live up to 120 years. It takes many years to monitor fish, especially slow-growing deep-water species, to find out what crops are sustainable.
Fish populations naturally fluctuate over time. There are good years and bad years that are influenced by factors such as weather and currents. This makes it difficult to assess efforts to protect the oceans. Preserving marine life requires extensive ongoing research to identify trends and best practices for crop management. However, cases of declining fish populations such as redfish and striped bass have rebounded due to changes in catch rates and restrictions on crop size.
But what can I do to help protect the oceans?
- Share your observations and opinions. Various organizations try to promote the conservation of marine life. For example, the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust seeks help from anglers trying to learn about historical sites of bonefish spawning as these areas may still be in use. Or, there are several Goliath grouper workshops in Florida this month that will assess public opinion about the possibility of a limited harvest. Grassroots campaigns can influence fisheries policy.
- Practice water conservation methods. Be careful of what chemicals and excess nutrients you may be adding to your watershed. Eventually, some of this water can end up in the ocean and have a detrimental effect. For example, there is evidence that the appearance of red tides, a natural bloom of algae that can sometimes be toxic, could be linked to the runoff of nutrients from various land uses.
- Practice selective harvesting. The catch and release is great, but then again, fish goes well with some butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Using circle hooks will help you decide which fish can be released after a quick photo, e.g. B. Larger spawning adults.
We love the ocean, but we may take it and its enormous buffering abilities for granted. We are constantly making new discoveries and learning better ways to protect the oceans. And don’t forget that the funds from fishing licenses and boat registrations are also used for major environmental efforts.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.