Bycatch is Causing Fish To Be Harmed

Bycatch is Causing Fish To Be Harmed

When fishermen target certain fish to catch, other species are often caught in the nets intended for those other fish. This is called a bycatch.

A recent report from Oceana shows that there are nine fisheries catching these bycatches. Anything and everything can get caught in the fishermen’s nets. It ranges from sea turtles swimming up the current to dolphins playing near the shore. These fish that are caught are pulled aboard and the fishermen see that they are not wanted. So, the dolphins, sharks, or whatever was caught is thrown back into the water; usually hurt, dying, or worse, dead.

A large majority of bycatches come from the fishermen dragging their nets through the water at high speeds. This is what really injures the animals. Researchers estimate that 20 percent of what fishermen catch in the U.S. is thrown away each year. This amounts to 2 billion pounds of wasted seafood. Not just the wasted sea food is the problem, but the fact that innocent animals and getting harm done to them because of these fishermen and their careless nets.

“The figures are astounding — four fisheries discard 63 to 66 percent of everything they catch. If you can’t quite grasp just how much that is, think of it this way: These nine fisheries waste almost half a billion seafood meals,” actor-board member Ted Danson and Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless write in a blog post for the Huffington Post.

Luckily bycatching is a fixable issue. Fishermen simply have to document what they catch, including the unwanted fish. Also, new more accurate equipment needs to be introduced. These devices will limit the amount of bycatch and focus on what the net is intended to catch.

The ocean provides the world an ample amount of nutrients and if humans misuse them there will be none left. Also, by reducing bycatch, lives of many animals will be spared and they will live in safety.