The fishing industry has become a giant one as millions, if not billions of people around the world consume fish and seafood regularly. In order to meet the demand, fishing companies have had to fish incredible amounts, which makes you wonder about how that has affected the environment. This demand often leads to overfishing, which harms the ecosystems that the fish live in. It disrupts a healthy system and damages the other species involved in it, as it disrupts the natural routine of that ecosystem. For example, when fish that are naturally predators are taken away from their environment, their prey is no longer in danger, which now alters the cycle of that system. Overfishing also leads to the possible extinction of certain types of fish as they are harvested faster than they are able to reproduce. Many practices used to pick up the fish are also harmful to the habitats that are being fished in because they destroy things such as sediments, corals, reefs, etc. Other issues include forgotten fishing equipment still harming fish even after the fishermen are gone, and harming other species in the process. However, there is a lot of research being done as to how to reduce these problems and fish in a more sustainable way. For example, many governments have put restrictions on the fishing industry in order to let habitats recover and have also implemented policies that reduce the damage done to the environment. Technologies designed to deter not-for-fishing animals such as turtles and mammals have also become popular to reduce the number of animals harmed. There is also some research that suggests that fishing farms could be a solution to stop wild fishing and let habitats recover, though this could present other environmental problems in the future. The fishing industry has a long way to go when it comes to reaching a sustainable solution, but promising technologies are emerging every day. To make an impact, you can look to buy fish from your local, small-scale fisheries!
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