How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment - Assignment Example

I am going to try and find out which fishing methods harm the environment more and how we could stop or cut down on some fishing methods. We already know that some or most fishing methods do harm the environment, but the question is what is going to happen to the ocean in the future if we keep carelessly fishing. This question or subject suits me because the ocean is really interesting and beautiful place. I think that we should preserve it for generations to come. The ocean is a very complex ecosystem and if we keep damaging it then we will lose it forever.

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I made a phone call to ‘Greenpeace’ and they sent me some booklets and leaflets but they were not of much relevance to me, they did however have some good information on driftnet fishing.

I did lots of my research on the Internet, as there is a vast collection of information on it. I found lots of information including all of the types of fishing I am researching.

I got an article from a Newspaper on cyanide fishing. Which told me lots and lots about it and it had lots of useful facts as well.

I have made a questionnaire. I am going to hand out 15 questionnaires and then im going to analyse the data and put the data into graphs, charts and tables.

I have also e-mailed a trawling fisherman. He sent back a really interesting e-mail.

Research Findings:

Which main types of fishing are there?


Trawling is a very destructive way of fishing. A trawling net is constructed of some very heavy weights and a large strong net. The weights drag the net to the bottom of the ocean while the net is still attached to the boat. The boat then move’s dragging the net with it and with the weights still dragging along the bottom of the sea.

-Cyanide Fishing

Cyanide is also a very destructive type of fishing. Cyanide is sprayed into a fish’s habitat making the fish very drowsy and easy to be collected up into bags for selling mostly as aquarium fish. More than a million kilograms of cyanide have been squirted onto coral reefs in the Philippines to stun and capture fish destined for aquariums.

-Driftnet Fishing

Driftnet fishing is self-explanatory really, you just dump a large mass of net into the ocean with floats on the top and weights on the bottom to make it a vertical wall from the top to the bottom and leave it for a few days and then go and pick it up and see what you’ve caught.

-Dynamite Fishing

Dynamite fishing is where you chuck a stick of dynamite into the ocean and explode it, then you pick up the remains. E.g. fish and any other animals they have managed to kill.

-What does trawling do to the environment?

Trawling totally devastates the bottom of the ocean. As you can see in the pictures below. It kills turtles, dolphins and lots of other unwanted creatures that don’t need to be killed.

-What does cyanide fishing do to the environment?

Most cyanide fishing methods had been used for catching aquarium fish but are now being used for catching fish for human consumption e.g groupers. This may harm humans and cause them to be prone for diseases and other effects. The fish caught by cyanide fishing for aquarists can die in transit because of their drowsy effects of the cyanide. Fish are approximately one thousand more sensitive to cyanide than humans.

As you can see this man is cyanide fishing, spraying cyanide on the coral. Note the dead coral in the background.

-What does driftnet fishing do to the environment?

Driftnet fishing (aka. walls of death) is the most destructive fishing method towards killing animals. Dolphins, Whales, turtles, sharks and lots of other animals are killed. In one season the French driftnet fleet was estimated to have killed 1,700 dolphins and more than 82,000 blue sharks. “Greenpeace” divers examined a driftnet 80 miles long deployed by Japanese in the Pacific Ocean, they found 8 dolphins and a rare bottlenose whale entangled in the nets as well as many sunfish, various species of shark and billfish.

5,000 to 6,000 dolphins are estimated to been killed in a three-month season from one Japanese driftnet fleet. The next year the Japanese were back in the Pacific Ocean to deploy 2,500 miles worth of driftnet. They killed and estimated 750,000 seabirds and 120,000 dolphins, whales and seals.

The European Union’s fishing fleet is trying to phase out driftnet fishing. Figures have been released showing that the numbers of boats from France, Ireland and the United Kingdom have shrunk from 76 vessels in 1995 to 65 in 1999. The rules on phasing out driftnets were introduced the past years. The France who have the most driftnet ships have cut down from 60 to 41 over 5 years. Irelands fleet fell from over 30 to 18, while the UK’s dropped from 12 to six.

New driftnets have been tested in New Zealand and are due to be introduced to the UK by the end of November. Hopefully these nets will cut down the numbers of bycatch. E.g. Dolphins, porpoises, Whales. Etc. These nets have holes and hatches meant for letting bycatch slip through the net while the targeted fish left in the net. We will soon see if they make any improvements for figures of bycatch.

Which types of fish are most under threat?

-Cod, Haddock and whiting

Cod is now and endangered species because its numbers are very low and in the next few years will die out if we don’t stop fishing them before they can breed. It takes 4-5 years before cod become se_xually mature. It will take more than 5 years for cod to multiply to the numbers they were before the numbers started to decrease.


Monkfish do not se_xually mature until they are around 9-11 years old. They are bottom dwelling fish and can grow up to 4 feet long but are mostly caught before that time in which they would be about 2 feet in size.

-Deep-sea fish

Deep-sea fish have a very slow pace of life as some species can live up to 150 years old. This is why we need to stop fishing at these depths. Because deep-sea fish don’t reach se_xual maturity until they reach the age of 30 or more therefore cannot multiply to secure the future of their kind. This means low numbers of certain species could take ten times longer to return to normal.

Some very common fish are now considered to have sustainable populations, so will die out if we don’t take care of the ocean and the life it contains. ” We must consider deep-sea sticks as non-renewable resources.”

“Rubio’s”, the restaurant

“Rubio’s” is a restaurant company. They have 106 restaurants in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Colorado. They raised $22,000for the sea of Cortez International Preservation Foundation by selling beanbag fish of their customers. I think it’s really good that this chain of restaurants is actually thinking