Seafood is an important part of our diet; it provides us with high levels of protein and necessary fats. Unfortunately, the growing demand for seafood is having a negative impact on our environment. Humans remove an estimated 170 billion pounds of sea life from the oceans each year. If this trend continues, scientists believe the world’s fisheries will collapse.
In order to preserve our planet’s sea life populations, fishing enthusiasts and anglers are now employing the following sustainable fishing practices.
After a fish is cooked and eaten, the bones and other leftover material can be composted along with dead plants, leaves, wood, and other food waste material. Over time, microorganisms will consume the waste and turn it into fertile humus that can be used to grow plants.
Keep the Ocean Garbage-Free
Throwing trash into the ocean does more than just pollute it. Sea animals often mistake items such as cigarette filters and plastic grocery bags for food. When they try to eat these things, they wind up suffocating or starving to death. Environmentally conscious fishing enthusiasts and anglers are always sure to take home all their trash, and they’ll even pick up trash that other people have left behind.
Lead-Free Fishing Gear
Lead isn’t good for humans, and it isn’t good for fish either. Unfortunately, lead is still used to make fishing jigs and sinkers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that when fish are exposed to lead, they’ll become afflicted with a wide variety of neurological and muscular disorders if they aren’t killed outright. That’s why more fishers and anglers are investing in lead-free fishing gear.
Catch and Release
For fishing enthusiasts who have no intention of eating their fish, the most environmentally responsible way for them to fish is to release what they’ve caught. There is an assortment of catch-and-release techniques one can use to preserve the lives of fish, such as using a circle hook.
Give the Fish a Break
The Tagbanua people of the Phillipines help preserve fish populations by limiting their fishing to certain times of the year. They are also vigilant about catching no more than what they need for food. This gives the fish population time to replenish. They’ve also designated coral reef areas as no-fishing zones.
Rod-and-Reel and Spears
For fishers who are looking to cut down on bycatch, the classic rod-and-reel is a great option. You can only catching one fish at a time, so there’s no risk of taking more fish out of the ocean than you need.
Spearfishing, which is still practiced in South America, Australia, Africa, and Asia, is another sustainable fishing alternative that reduces bycatch. One can use a typical spear or a spear gun.
Using sustainable fishing strategies will help ensure the health, quality, and availability of fish will continue. By incorporating the practice of eliminating lead-based fishing gear, you’re also reducing the risk of lead exposure for your family. Do you know of any other sustainable fishing practices that didn’t make this list? Post your comments below.