Fish Issues

There are many fish issues in the world today that a fish enthusiast like you and me should be concerned about.

I mean its nice and all you know to have an aquarium or two, maybe a pond or two, you know you give the fish some fish food and just enjoy their company or just enjoy looking at them.

Its also nice to go fishing once in a while, maybe eat a fish or three or go to your local supermarket and buy some fish to cook later on (or if you are like me, just going to the the fish section, just to see whats being offered at the supermarket, for the heck of it!)

Not too many of us think of the issues that fish face, what I term as 'fish issues'.

So first of all, when is something called an issue? I think often time an issue is thought to be something not good.

In fact looking it up in the dictionary, there are about 35 different meanings! Haha.

But really, in this context its about:
"a point, matter, or dispute, the decision of which is of special public importance: the political issues"

So fish issues arent exactly political issues but its similar, definitely of special public importance (whether the public knows it or not). As you can see its not necessarily something not good, just a point that can be important to everyone.

So in this sense, fish issues are both 'not so good' points but also 'good' points or points that are 'yet to be decided exactly whether they are good or not so good'.

Not so good Points

The first matter at hand would be overfishing. This is the biggest of the fish issues around, doesnt matter if its tropical or anything else, overfishing has plagued fish as a species, especially in the past 100 years or so.

The second matter at hand would be water pollution. Not only do we make life difficult for fish by catching them, we are even making it hard for them to live or even breathe!

The third matter at hand would be habitat destruction. So we catch em, choke em and finally we take away the places they live. Its a nasty combination really.

And so with all of the above, plus the largest human population in history at the moment(we have hit 7 billion people a few months ago if you are not aware), there are not enough fish to go round and so we are even catching them young, before they are even able to spawn and reproduce.

If it was in human terms, this would be genocide already right?

So the above are probably the top few things, on the not so good side, of fish issues.

What gives right?

Good or so-so points

So whats the good side of fish issues then? or at least the 'not so bad' side or depending who you are, it could be questionable either way.

The first would be aquaculture. This is one of those boons and banes arguments, its good for x reasons and bad for y reasons, some will sway this way and that on this issue. For me, overall I think this is a positive more than anything else.

We have more food for everyone and we are actually preserving the species, so why not? (sure its for commercial importance but you see thats why cows, goats and sheep wont get extinct anytime soon :) )

The second would be the ornamental fish trade or aquarium fish trade. Again a boon or a bane depending how you look at it but to me its also just like the point above (perhaps even more so since this trade requires the fish to be alive and alive forever more too!) i.e. it helps in the preservation of fish species, at least when they are being bred for the industry.

The third item in my fish issues list is the use of fish in water cleansing. Thats right, in helping to rid ourselves of some of the water pollution situations that we ourselves 'let loose' or 'let go' (to find some terms that are easier on the ears and not make you grimace :) ). This idea has been around for a long time but perhaps only recently being brought to light.

The fourth item in my list is the use of fish in state of the art technologies/ideas such as aquaponics or other closed agricultural systems. God knows there isnt enough land out there, we are even running out of water in some places so every method that helps to feed 7 billion people (and counting!) is going to help.

The 'as a result' points

Too many things are related these days that it is easy to lump everything together. This would be my attempt to address some of those points that occurred because of some of the points above or other points.

The first would be with respect to overfishing. This phenomenon has not only caused entire fishing industries to collapse and therefore affect the lives of thousands of families, but worse still, it has lead to ecosystem collapse and sometimes even creating places called dead zones.

A very important example of ecosystem collapse is the overfishing of sharks for their shark fins as well as the taking of tropical coral fish, both for the food trade as well as the aquarium fish trade.

Sometimes ecosystem collapse also occurs not because of overfishing i.e. the removal of fish, but also the introduction of fish that are not native to that water system. Such invasive species have wreaked havoc all over the world now.

Non Issue points

This section is really here to highlight some things that are there that should not be an issue although there are some who take issue with this as well.

The first in this list is native rights in terms of taking fish for their subsistence. In the tropics, this generally goes on anyway, irregardless of whether laws are there to allow this or not. This is simply because in many places there are no governing bodies or at least will of execution, to enforce any laws, if any.

However, generally, natives have a bond with the land and water and they know full well how much to take and how often, as preserving fish and other things means preserving themselves.

It does, however, become a problem when the natives get influenced by business one way or the other. Or in some cases, the use of native fishing rights or traditional fishing rights becoming abused and are simply used as a front of a commercial industry.

There are widespread claims of this in the whaling industry for example. (though do note that there has been a moratorium on whaling for 2-3 decades now except for native rights whaling and so-called 'whaling for scientific purpose', whatever that really means is a good question!).

So the above is a non-exhaustive view of some of the fish issues out there. Likely I will add to this list from time to time as well.

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