Depletion of Oceanic Resources

The Ocean provides human beings with many living as well as Non-living resources. In the opinion of Griffis, to be maintained for adequate use by future generations, these resources must be managed in a proper manner (Griffis, 2013). The living resources comprises of various spices of Fishes which serve as a food source for a considerable amount of world population while non-living resources include various minerals such as oil and gas that are in a limited quantity and has to be mined in order to bring it to the use of general population which require a considerable amount of economic and technological support.

The Earth’s oceans are undergoing a dramatic impelling a developing craving for the threatening of fish and drifting of fish with thousands of species to ruin beyond their capability by which they can reproduce and balance the ecosystem (Thums et al., 2013).

Overfishing by modern technologies and fish consumption is a huge problem. Across the earth as per the study of 2010 which stated that 1,851 species of fish or 21 percent of aquatic animals were at the exposure of extinction, containing more than a third of all rays and sharks (Ocean Plastic Pollution).

In reaction to that, Campbell mentioned that the aquatic life is misbalanced causing the sea to develop with smaller fish species as the larger kind vanish endlessly (Campbell et al., 2016). This creates an alarming stage and makes this issue a global concern for which the humans must use fish resources more sustainably, ethically and responsibly.

Fish supply can hardly stay up to the level with ongoing developments in use of sophisticated fishing technology to gain heavy bulk of fishes daily while countering to the demand globally which is also increasing as per the population of the human.

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The climb of fish lovers or the consumers around the world consumption more aquatic life ultimately develops the need for more fishing fleets and fisherman hunting a fish which are not as per the demand, and with it, other forms of sea life called bycatch which is caught unintentionally. Oceanographers and Environmentalists think that the incidental requirement for aquatic life and the methods used to fulfil it are proving it to be a remediless and most probably unchangeable reaction on the world’s sea life and oceans, with some dangerous forecasts that the sea could be excluded from the aquatic life and completely without any life form by the year 2048 if present tendency does not essentially alter (Hansom and Gordon, 2014).

Renowned scientists refer to that if humans keep going on to entangle and consume the aquatic animals at the present rate, the seas and oceans will be depleted by thirty years if not reacted accordingly. According to the research, over ninety percent of sea carnivorous fish have become extinct, and eighty percent of other mercantile aquatic species have vanished because of the act of fatal fisheries and overfishing (Doell et al., 2014). The techniques of the modern fishing which uses bottom trawlers also damage the ground of the sea due to deploying extended webs that butcher and ruin all the things around it while creating drastic effects. Fishing with long-line ways that are used to target specifically swordfish and tuna are also becoming one of the reasons for the killing of bycatch that includes endangered ocean turtles, sharks, and porpoises that die a very treacherous and hurtful death because of the dragging caused by the nets for many kilometers in the ocean. In Langlois’s opinion, bycatch is a horrible wastage and almost all of them are thrown right away after being caught unintentionally (Langlois et al., 2014).

Scientists are forecasting that a catastrophic tomorrow that awaits. Seas empty of fish in 30 years if the human is unable to alter the consumption and fishing habitations. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations-FAO, 70 percent of the Earth’s oceanic fish supply are fully fished, overfished, depleted or healing from the demise (Hobday and Evans, 2013). Overfishing is the topmost danger to the marine ecosystems now as aquatic life are being hunted at a much faster pace while comparing to their regeneration rate which is necessary for balancing the eco-system and supply-demand ratio.

Whereas the small fishes in their generative age are being hunted even before they can be a source of reproduction while contributing to the source of reproduction. This has happened because of no check and balance and sense of sustainability. As claimed by Rossi, before the 1960s era when the fishing and the relative industry was much sustainable as the boats for the hunting and other purposes had confined accessibility, were relatively smaller in size and had a narrow area to keep the captive fish on the board (Rossi, 2013). However, in the present age, the boats have been altered and shifted to gigantic sailing boats that trawl the bed of the ocean taking in oceanic animation in the way inducing massive and immense devastation while being a demise to all kinds of oceanic life and acting as a major reason in the depletion of oceanic resources.

“Ghost gear” is also one of the major reason which has been a threat to the oceanic resources or the aquatic life to be precise. An estimate can be taken from the fact that the ghost gear constitutes up for about ten percent of all ocean litter. This causes the threat in a way that majority of these waste remains to stay in the environment of the sea for many decades catching, suffocating and strangling the aquatic life while resulting from the death of these living beings. According to “Biotic resources extraction impact assessment in LCA of fisheries”, the hunters of the aquatic life or the Fisherman often abandon their cracked equipment and old nets overboard while fishing, rather than transporting it to the shore and then suitably putting it to waste (Langlois et al., 2014). The severity can be idealized from the stats which states that until 2010, a total number of approximately 870 nets for the fish hunting were retrieved from the State of Washington alone which had more than 32,000 aquatic living lives.

The oceanic depletion is caused by illegal fishing which is a huge network with a worldwide epidemic and the entire fish supply chain is required to become completely traceable to the legal origin to betake and overcome the issue. Additionally, as per the 2013 research done by Oceana, a not-for-profit organization that campaigns to guard and recover the Earth’s sea, showed that an approximate of 33 percent of fish in the United States alone is fraudulently labeled to extend gains. Fish now are filled with toxins and dangerous chemicals that flame-retardants containing plastic contaminants such as dioxins, mercury, PCBs, lead and DDE which is formed when there is a break down in DDT. With the huge plastic waste gyres consuming more and more of the seas, and now outweighing plankton by 6:1, fish are getting more ill and polluted (Griffis, 2013). Most of the sea waste consists of the plastic and are considered as their food in form of polluted plastics which is available in the ocean. When Humans consume fish, they are also using the same poisonous items (plastics) that the aquatic animals have consumed as their food.

Oxygen dissolved in Oceanic water is one of the most important factors for the survival of Marine life. The depletion of oxygen in the oceans lower prospective fish supply and creates the risk of an alteration in the habitat and behavior of oceanic life (Doell et al., 2014). Scientists, after a recent study, have found that Marine oxygen levels had dropped by 2% in 50 years. Fish that depend on dissolved oxygen will enlarge more tardily, culminate at a smaller body size, and generate fewer offspring. Larger fish such as tuna, swordfish, and sharks will be badly affected given their major reliance on a larger quantity of oxygen, they will be driven into ever narrower stripe of oxygen-abundant water that is found close to the surface area, as will much of their prey, guiding to more rivalry for food sources and massive deviation in wildlife behaviour (Langlois et al., 2014). The research conducted at Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany was the most thorough of this subject to the date. The drop in the oxygen concentration has been caused due to global warming and the author forecasted that if it lasts unchecked, the amount of oxygen missing could stretch up to 7% by 2100 (Moore et al., 2013).

Very few oceanic creatures are capable to adapt to the low concentration of oxygen. The paper holds analysis of broad-ranging data from the 1960s to 2010, documenting alterations in oxygen distribution in the whole ocean. “Since huge fish in especial withdraw or do not survive in areas with low oxygen content, these alter can have widely-reaching biological consequences,” said Dr. Sunke Schmidtko, the research’s lead author (Moore et al., 2013). Some areas have witnessed a major fall than others. The Pacific – the world’s biggest ocean – has undergone the top amount of oxygen lost, while the Arctic has gone through the sharpest fall by percentage (Thums et al., 2013). “While the slight lowering of oxygen in the atmosphere is taken as non-critical, the oxygen lost in the ocean can have widely-reaching consequences due to the uneven distribution,” added another of the report’s creator, Lothar Stramma. It is increasingly visible that the biggest load of climate alterations is impacting the planet’s oceans, which swallow up more than 30% of the carbon generated on land. Rising sea levels are taking their toll on many of the globe’s poorest locations. Warming waters have ruined corals (Campbell et al., 2016).

Because of those problems and issues, we should have some solutions to maintain oceanic resources- not only for us but also for future generation. The question is “What do people have to do to protect and improve the ocean?” There are some reasonable and lasting solutions which scientists and people think about such as keep the ocean clean, changing eating habits and alteration to the fishing gear.

What is the main element that destroys the ocean? Plastic is the most considerable wrongdoer when it comes to oceanic litter, with scientist’s estimation that approximately eight million metric tons of plastic wastage join to the seas yearly. Junk like plastic bags, straws, and takeaway containers, ‘microplastics’ bits of plastic that are less than five millimeters in length and most often found in products such as toothpaste and exfoliating scrubs also limit up in the sea, where they are ingested by oceanic animals (Helmond et al., 2014). The track required to resolve this issue is all too simple and smooth: Swap plastic bags and disposable containers for recyclable alternatives such as reusable coffee cups, cotton totes, and sturdy food containers; abandon using products with microbeads, and never litter. Individuals, community groups, and corporations can also go beyond short lifestyle shifts by creating groups to accumulate trash from beaches (Moore et al., 2013).

The increasing (prenominal) demand for famous marine predators such as swordfish, tuna, and shark force their value up and incite the fishers to entangle in many circumstances lowering the long demand of the supply. As per the facts humans don’t have to necessarily suspend consuming the aquatic animals to sustain these depletive effects for the tomorrow but one thing which the humans can do is to change their manner of consuming the aquatic animals (Langlois et al., 2014). The narrative that human beings are exploiting the seas aggressively, although correct in terms of species now choose, is in reality, untrue in terms of production of the protein. One can consider a very simple illustration such as it takes almost or above sixty million metric tons of eatable aquatic animals per anum to feed the 3 million metric tons which include three species of tuna which are crucial, that the human harvests yearly. If it could alter some of the sandwiches made from tuna with other species of the tuna feed on which may include the squids, sardines, and anchovies than one could open up a solid yield (Moore et al., 2013).

The humans can still taste sea grilled swordfish steaks and red ahi, they have the prime meat and few bones. However, the pricing should be able to make it a premium seafood which can allow it to decrease the demand of it and comply it with the supply. To consider the common tastes of the developed nations urge sea harvests, which will be very troublesome to alter the exploitation of many aquatic animals. It should be reconsidered by the humans that harvest in a way which can be compiled as per the ecologically intelligent manner, not by joining newly fish species to the present harvest but rather by change catches of depleted supply with fishes deficient on the web of the nutrition. The persons which are set to feed on the predators negligent of the conservative price should study (Moore et al., 2013).

Fishing gears and effective modifications in them are vividly causing the issue of depletion of oceanic resources to decrease to some extent. These alterations, while altering conditions only in the seas and its relative path, shows that the researchers currently are aware of what steps need to be taken which can be effective and efficient. For instance in the case of sea turtles simpler alteration of the hook styles to circle hooks from J-hooks can diminish unwanted turtle hunt almost completely or up to 90 percent, relying on the hook size and its combination in which the larger size is better which can target the fishes more effectively. Similarly bait in which rather than using squid and use fish can also be an effective approach, and the species of turtle (leatherbacks in which the reduction in the death rate was maximum). These alterations which are seemly important in the fishery industry of US and are being advanced to Latin America by working bodies such as the Wildlife Fund-WWF and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and World organizations (Thums et al., 2013).

The simple alterations have proved to be very powerful. Merging boat streamers scare birds far away from cables and the lines while putting a load to long lines which results in the sink out of vision quickly. One other most effective step can be by setting out the dark in the lines which can allow the aquatic life to be settled in their region. Another major catastrophe can be witnessed in South Georgia where in the recent ten years, the number of seabirds because of the longliner fleets were butchered (Langlois et al., 2014). The Southern Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Falkland Islands decreased by almost 95 percent. Majority of such crucial steps and initiatives applied to boats and to the global fleets in operation within the 200-mile radius of-of the location discussed as above discussed, and to boats in the Southern Ocean operating lawfully. In the fishery industry, market advancement which includes processing the business operations with certification and labeling could allow the owners to serve favor seafood products from these fisheries which are better-managed while reducing the seafood’s marketability caught unlawfully (Rossi, 2013). These steps could also cause to exert pressure boats operant in temperate international waters especially temperate longline tuna fisheries to join the scheme of operating at a loss.

Works Cited

  1. Campbell, L.M., Gray, N.J., Fairbanks, L., Silver, J.J., Gruby, R.L., Dubik, B.A. and Basurto, X., (2016). Global oceans governance: New and emerging issues. Annual review of environment and resources, 41, pp.517-543.
  2. Doell, P., Mueller Schmied, H., Schuh, C., Portmann, F.T. and Eicker, A., (2014). Global‐scale assessment of groundwater depletion and related groundwater abstractions: Combining hydrological modeling with information from well observations and GRACE satellites. Water Resources Research, 50(7), pp.5698-5720.
  3. Griffis, R., (2013). Oceans and marine resources in a changing climate: a technical input to the 2013 national climate assessment. Island Press.
  4. Hansom, J.D. and Gordon, J., (2014). Antarctic environments and resources: a geographical perspective. Routledge.
  5. Hobday, A.J. and Evans, K., (2013). Detecting climate impacts with oceanic fish and fisheries data. Climatic Change, 119(1), pp.49-62.
  6. Langlois, J., Fréon, P., Delgenes, J.P., Steyer, J.P. and Hélias, A., (2014). New methods for impact assessment of biotic-resource depletion in life cycle assessment of fisheries: theory and application. Journal of cleaner production, 73, pp.63-71.
  7. Moore, C.M., Mills, M.M., Arrigo, K.R., Berman-Frank, I., Bopp, L., Boyd, P.W., Galbraith, E.D., Geider, R.J., Guieu, C., Jaccard, S.L. and Jickells, T.D., (2013). Processes and patterns of oceanic nutrient limitation. Nature Geoscience, 6(9), p.701.
  8. Rossi, S., 2013. The destruction of the ‘animal forests’ in the oceans: towards an over-simplification of the benthic ecosystems. Ocean & coastal management, 84, pp.77-85.
  9. Thums, M., Bradshaw, C.J., Sumner, M.D., Horsburgh, J.M. and Hindell, M.A., (2013). Depletion of deep marine food patches forces divers to give up early. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82(1), pp.72-83.
  10. Van Helmond, N.A., Baroni, I.R., Sluijs, A., Damsté, J.S.S. and Slomp, C.P., (2014). Spatial extent and degree of oxygen depletion in the deep proto‐North Atlantic basin during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(11), pp.4254-4266.
  11. Ocean Plastics Pollution,

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Depletion of Oceanic Resources. (2022, May 10). Retrieved from

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