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I am representing the scientists who are against the USFG wanting to increase Marine Protected Areas for the move that negatively affects the fishing industry. Fish is beneficial to both human beings and animals in terms of food. it also helps in boosting the economy in that it creates employment and generates income for the government in form of tax. As nutrition, fish is highly recommended as it helps prevent certain diseases such as diabetes, etc. Moreover, fish is relatively cheap and therefore affordable to anyone.
Marine Protected Areas are expensive to construct and maintain. For this reason, the fish price doubles and therefore it becomes uneconomical for an ordinary consumer. They are also unnecessary when they are too many. This is because they hinder fishing from going on normally as they restrict some places from being fished. Therefore, the expected returns for a fisher for the day are reduced and fewer people get to enjoy the benefits that come along with the fishing industry.
Generally, people trying to lose weight fail because of erroneous eating habits. When it comes to the type of foods being consumed particularly meat products, fish and shellfish are the most effective foods to be consumed in the diet. This is according to the research done by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA on the consumption of fish. It expounds on the importance of fish in the diet. This is necessary not only for people to lose weight but also for the nutritional diet of fish, which is commendable in the human diet.
The Agency explains that fish and shellfish contain very high-quality protein and other important nutrients and that they are also low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids which are unsaturated fatty acids that contain three double bonds in their hydrocarbon chain this fatty acid. These fatty acids are essential to human health and can reduce type 2 diabetes risk. They aid in upholding cardiovascular health by participating in the regulation of blood vessel constriction and also in prenatal and postnatal neurological development. Lastly, omega-3 fatty acids reduce tissue inflammation and ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, they are highly recommended for consumption in the human diet. (Claudet 46)
In addition to the nutritional value of fish, it is affordable and more economical to consume and therefore a wide population of people can easily access it. Therefore, it is safe to say that fish and the fishing industry have positive benefits to the human community and the economy as a whole. To fully enjoy the benefits of fish or marine resources as a whole, the marine environment should be well maintained to establish an ecosystem that is healthy and productive. (John H. Steele, 2010, p. 134)
In retrospect, Marine Protected Areas can pose a threat to the economical aspect of fish consumption by increasing the Marine protected areas increase the prices of fish and thereby causing consumption of fish to reduce hence Marine Protected areas may prove detrimental to the fishers and the fishing industry. Closure of sections of the ocean to fishing to preserve fish stocks holds an immense intuitive petition (Gubbay 115). Marine protected areas are not only closed temporarily or permanently to fishing but also mineral and hydrocarbon extraction amongst other activities. Marine Protected Areas cannot attain by themselves reach today’s fishery management objectives and they can create unintended consequences example closing some of the fishing areas result in people fishing in other locations that are more susceptible.
The efforts to increase marine protected areas are therefore futile and are of less value this is because:
- The marine habitat is protected by well-seasoned closures these are based on the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution’s research which connotes that “seasonal together with long term closures have aided in protecting spawning fish and also nursery areas, susceptible habitats, and lastly reduced fishing pressure (Souvorov 202). This shows that marine life is well preserved and the need to increase Marine protected areas based on increasing biodiversity is therefore not necessary. On the other hand, the fish industry is ultimately destabilized by the increase of the Marine Protected Areas as observed at worldfishingtoday.com over 2000 companies in the U.S.A commercial fishing industry with combined revenue of 4 billion US dollars. (worldfishing.com).This goes to show that the fishing industry has been a significant contributor to the nation’s socio-economic development. It participates in the generation of national income and most importantly has been indispensable to nutritional needs and food security. Marine Protected Areas in the marine environment have not been well synchronized between the different federal state and also local agencies with authority over the coastal waters and the submerged lands. In addition to this, established MPAs around the world are rather small, many not being sufficiently enforced nor supervised to establish their effectiveness.
- Marine Protected Areas that are scientifically managed are mainly in the tropical and subtropical areas. Fish in such places live in specific habitats an example being reef structures and do not wander off from them their reliability to miniature territories is very vital to the accomplishment of their marine reserve and populations of marine life do increase in such reserves. Studies reveal a spillover effect drawn from such reserves that supplement fisheries closer to the Marine Protected Areas (Mayr 78). On the contrary, in temperate, boreal, and subarctic systems where major world fisheries reside a wide range of fish that exhibit extensive seasonal migration cannot be managed by fish reserves.
- Also on fishing, increasing Marine Protected Areas means that ships during fishing activities have to plunge further into the ocean to catch more fish as fishing near the reserves may result in the aim to preserve fish being sabotaged. These increase fishing expenses in terms of fuel and will subsequently increase fish prices. Although the high cost of fishing may be attainable for commercial fishers’ private fishers will be restricted.
- Presence of enough Marine Protected Areas and therefore there is no need for an increase of many more. According to the United States of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States of America has 1600 Marine Protected Areas, and this cover more than 40% of the marine ecosystem.
Another reason why increasing marine protected areas is not necessary is that the main problem is overfishing caused by foreign countries’ intruders and illegal fishers. Many foreign companies and illegal fishers send their ship to catch tons of fish. The U.S.A cannot arrest intruders because the ocean is too large to patrol hence intruders cannot be easily traced. Instead of focusing on creating marine protected areas, the main focus should be devising strategies to eliminate illegal intruders rather than focusing on increasing marine protected areas which limits fishing for the legal fishers of the United States of America. Illegal fishing takes occurs when vessels work in violation of laws that govern a specific fishery (Mary Ann Palma 156). This comprises fisheries that are included in the jurisdiction of a coastal state or high seas fisheries under the management of the regional organizations. Unreported fishing refers to fishing that has been unreported or rather misreported to the pertinent national authority in breach of applicable rules and parameters lastly unregulated fishing is fishing by vessels lacking nationality or even vessels flying the flag of a particular country that is not part and parcel of the regional organization governing that specific fishing area or species. These three are all part of international environmental crime (Frank W. Steimle 100). A particular enforcer backing illegal fishing is the failure of a couple of states to put into effect any regulation over ships onto their registers which then make an incentive for ships to be registered.
Since the rate of pirate fishing is not always reported, the level of fishing cannot be precisely quantified. However, industry observers have the perception that illegal fishing accounts for about 30% of all catches in several of the important fisheries. Usually, fishing can spoil delicate marine ecosystems and susceptible species an example is coral reefs, and illegal fishing further amplifies such problems hence decreasing productivity and biodiversity causing unevenness in the ecosystem. (OECD 176)
Fishing and the fishing industry as whole support not only the economy but also food. To the economy through the creation of employment example, the fishers themselves like private fishers, the shipping crew, and middlemen who sell some of the fish, hence supporting families and alleviating poverty. Furthermore, the generation of revenue through payment of taxes is gotten through fish selling proceeds. In addition to this, fish is important in the diet and is beneficial to human health because of its high composition of omega-3 fatty acids. It also has low environmental contaminants and is eco-friendly. It is because of this that fish habitats should be reserved or properly maintained and managed. Management through the creation of marine protected areas is one measure but it alone will not effectively preserve the marine ecosystem and if increased, it will result in the fish industry as a whole being destroyed. Therefore, other contributors that destroy the marine ecosystem should also be identified and measures put in place to strike a balance between marine life preservation and the fishing industry. It is therefore impractical to increase the number of marine protected areas by the USFG while the major implementers of the deterioration of the marine ecosystem such as illegal fishers are high at bay. In any case, increasing the marine protected areas only affects legal fishers considering illegal fishing is carried out mainly by illegal intruders not from the United States of America. This calls for a shift in focus from increasing marine protected areas to eliminating illegal fishing.
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