Americans appear to be taking the health of our planet seriously. There is greater interest being displayed in topics such as how can we protect the ocean. According to a 2020 survey, the issue was ranked third among environmental concerns.
In addition to providing food for billions of people across the globe, the oceans help regulate the environment and provide medicinal substances. Man-made threats to our oceans, however, include climate change, the mountains of plastic dumped into the sea, acidification and non-sustainable fishing practices.
The fishing industry can play a major role in helping to preserve our oceans and their abundance of marine life. Sustainable fishing practices and eco-friendly vessels can make a world of difference in helping to protect a wide range of endangered marine animals.
Protecting Marine Ecosystems With Eco-Friendly Vessels
Fishing boats have much to gain from technology with respect to becoming more sustainable. Marine manufacturing may be taking a turn towards producing more eco-friendly “hybrid” vessels that run on clean electric or solar energy. Many smaller vessels can also make use of their sails and wind power.
By minimizing the amount of engine exhaust released into the aquatic environment, less pollution will be introduced into the oceans. A hybrid fishing boat may only require its gas-powered engine to travel to its fishing grounds and return to shore. The boat can run on its electric power while actively engaged in fishing.
Fishing boat crews can also help protect marine ecosystems by displaying a more mindful approach while at sea. Proper waste disposal, especially with regard to sewage or “black water,” should be offloaded at proper disposal facilities found at marinas rather than being dumped overboard at sea.
Enabling Marine Life To Replenish Itself
When fishing boat crews respect the delicate balance between the oceans’ ecosystems and the reproductive patterns of the fish they catch, there is a much better chance that our planet’s marine life can be preserved. Overfishing refers to taking an aquatic species out of the ocean at a rate higher than it can reproduce. The bluefin tuna, for example, has had its spawning numbers reduced by an estimated degree of about 75% since 1970.
Another threat to marine life associated with the fishing industry is bycatch. The term refers to fishing boats catching more than the intended species. In the case of the bluefin tuna, longline fishing practices intended for that particular catch also trap sea turtles, swordfish and seabirds.
The management of overfishing and bycatch can, however, become a sometimes challenging operation that involves local fishing communities and national governments cooperating on a global level. Emerging technologies, such as fish traceability and underwater lights to reduce bycatch, may play key roles in enabling the fishing industry to become more sustainable.
Seeing Marine Life Up Close While Practicing Sustainability
Sustainable sailing experiences and marine-life tours are increasing in demand as the vacation and special event market ramps up. Southern California’s San Diego Bay is an ideal location to get close to endangered marine animals such as blue whales and dolphins. Booking a whale-watching tour on a wind-powered 139-foot sailboat can be an eye-opening and memorable experience. It can also bring about a greater awareness of the vital relationship that exists between humankind and the marine world.