The California Overfishing Problem

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Lucca Ghiselli ‘22

Overfishing in California is leading to the collapse of populations that are frequently fished for and destroying entire ecosystems.

Overfishing has lead to the extreme decline in fish numbers making it harder to catch fish.

Marla Cone told the LaTimes, “Already, 29% of species that are fished — including bluefin tuna, Atlantic cod, Alaskan king crab, Pacific salmon and an array of California fisheries — have collapsed and the pace is accelerating, the report says.”

Because of the increase in fisherman fish have been targeted more heavily and there are also less fish for more fisherman to catch.

“34 percent more small-scale boats were operating at any given moment in the gulf during a three-year period (2006-2009),” Robert Monroe told UC San Diego and Scrips Institute of Oceanography, “According to the analysis, 17,839 boats were operating in an area that can only sustain 13,277 boats to maximize the benefits of catching more fish per trip.”

Overfishing is leading to the collapse of ecosystems because they are are being thrown off balance by reduced fish numbers.

Gail Gallessich told UC Santa Barbra, “Overfishing presents a much greater risk to the kelp forest ecosystems that span the West Coast — from Alaska to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula — than the effects of run-off from fertilizers or sewage from the shore, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.”

“In California, TNC has a team of scientists, technologists and conservation practitioners testing new, collaborative ways to protect ocean resources and coastal communities,” According to The Nature Conservancy.