3 Solutions to Common Fishing Net Problems
Fishing is an economic activity in many countries. Using nets is one of the most effective means of harvesting fish. However, this has been blamed for various problems in the ocean. Below are solutions of some mentioned fish net problems.
Ghost net problem
Ghost nets are nets thrown away in the ocean after fishermen finish fishing. These nets are left drifting inside the open sea. They are also left by those fishermen tangled on rocky reefs. They are a serious threat as they entangle fish, sea turtles, dolphins,seabirds and even crabs.
This restricts movement of the affected creatures leading to suffocation and starvation. The organisms then die in large numbers. This can cause imbalance of the food chain. Ghost gear has accounted for 12% of marine litter in the recent past.
- Government can play a major role in solving this problem. For instance, French Government once rewarded fishermen who found and handed these nets to coastguards. This was seen to reduce that problem drastically.
- Fishermen are also required to avoid disposing off their nets inside the ocean. This will be achieved by choosing appropriate means of getting rid of fishing nets. They may recycle them or even burn them. Government should arrest offenders and prosecute them.
This is another common fishing net problem. When large fishing nets are used, many marine creatures are caught unintentionally. The unwanted catch includes crabs and small sized targets. By catch results to fishery decline as it causes mortality of the caught creatures. Sea birds, turtles and sharks are the most affected.
- Recreational fishing should be avoided especially where large fishing nets are used. This will certainly result to catching unwanted marine species.
- Fishing should be banned in areas where it is very easy to find bycatch. This can be achieved by permanent closure of these areas.
- By using alternative fishing gear. Using fishing nets with large mesh size will allow small species to escape. This will reduce the number of crabs, turtles and immature fish caught.
Over fishing when large fishing nets are used
Over fishing leads to over exploitation of fish stock. The stocks therefore reduce below the acceptable levels. Resources will therefore be depleted as the growth rate of marine creatures will be reduced. It will also cause low biomass level upsetting marine ecosystem. When fishermen use large fishing nets for a long time, this condition is likely to happen.
- Harvest control rule. This is a rule that is implemented by the government to restore fishery. Expanding population leads to increased demand for fish where this delicacy is the staple food. This explains why government should try by all means possible to curb over fishing.
- Use alternative fishing means. As discussed above, nets with large holes allow for escape of small marine species. They will therefore be allowed to mature and reproduce hence restoring the population.
The above solutions are very effective. When put in place, the common fishing net problems will be reduced. This will thrive fishing industries worldwide.