Emily Z. New Jersey

The Ocean Is Running Out Of Fish

Dear Future President, Do you really want the ocean to “run out” of fish? Over fishing, taking more than species need to survive, must stop. The good news is that fishing helps feed the world. The bad news is over fishing results, and some fish will become extinct. Studies from The Huffington Post show that the sea life population has gone down due to over fishing. Over fishing is responsible for the loss of critical species, so now people can’t only blame the loss of fish on pollution. The ocean is losing species as well as entire ecosystems. This shows that fish aren’t the only ones who are being affected. What about other sea animals that eat fish in order to survive? They will die as the fish population becomes less and less. One Green Planet confirms that in just 55 years, 90% of ocean predators have been wiped out. If people keep over fishing, all ocean sea life will be gone forever. According to Malin Pinsky, ocean life researchers have known for a long time that “small species can collapse but most of the emphasis in conservation and fisheries management has been on larger species.” Even though attention has gone to the species with larger size, the small fish are susceptible, too. Plus it is important because they contribute to the entire ecosystem. Another reason why the fish population has gone down is because fishing nets catch far more than intended. The WWF clarifies that many sea animals like turtles, dolphins, sharks and seabirds get caught on fishing lines or nets. These animals are often thrown back into the ocean either dead or dying. This is known as by catch. By catch occurs because the nets also trap everything larger than the net’s mesh. For example, the WDC states that 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed each year from by catch. Despite new technologies and industry recognition of the issue, by-catch is still a major problem. Not only does it cause avoidable deaths and injuries, but it can be harmful to the marine environments where they are employed. According to The WWF, By catch also takes a serious toll on fishermen. It results in damaged gear, reduced catches, and fishing restrictions that threaten their economic survival. Without sustainable management, our fisheries face collapse and the world will eventually face a food crisis. The Washington Post proves that already 80% of the world's fish stocks are fully exploited. This is why we must do something about over fishing now. Sustainable fishing ensures that people’s livelihoods are protected. Many people will soon be out of work without any fish in the ocean to catch. Fishermen rely on fishing to make a living. So it wouldn't be fair to impose restrictions, since some people won't even be able to survive without the work and money. But, if we put restrictions on over fishing now, we will guarantee the future livelihood of fishermen. We also need to think about today's fishermen who will be affected by the ban. They will lose their jobs and then in a couple of years they will be able to get it back. But in those years they may struggle with money and survival. This does not sound right. Even though it is unfair to fishermen, changes must be made or else the fish will be depleted and no one will be able to ever fish again. Restrictions must be put in place to reduce the amount of over fishing. We need these limits so that fish and other sea life do not become extinct. As Sylvia Earle said, “No water, no life, no blue, no green.” What she means by this is that one thing will lead to another. When the ocean becomes depleted of fish people will struggle to survive. And our world will start to fall apart. No water, no life. Sincerely, Emily Z

Brielle Elementary

Eighth Grade Citizens

The students in the eighth grade who wished to post their letters are featured here. Students worked for several weeks in both Social Studies and Language Arts classes, crafting their arguments. They participated in Penpal Schools Decision 2016 as well as Media Literacy Week.

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