Clark 1Justin ClarkProfessor WheelerEnglish 10113 November 2011                     Overfishing: Killer of the Oceans     ...
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"Overfishing: Killer of the Oceans"


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"Overfishing: Killer of the Oceans"

  1. 1. Clark 1Justin ClarkProfessor WheelerEnglish 10113 November 2011 Overfishing: Killer of the Oceans } Throughout history, the ocean has been one of mankind’s most This is a developed introduction. It beginstreasured resources. The ocean has provided many a civilization with the very broadly by intro-sustenance needed to sustain itself, even in the harshest climates and en- ducing the reader to the idea of fishing being avironments. Fishing is one of the oldest trades in existence and remains key component of hu- man societies. As wejust as important to man now as it was millennia ago. A large portion move down through theof the world depends heavily on the continual supply of seafood that paragraph, he becomes more and more spe-commercial fishing is able to provide, and owes a great debt to the fish cific about how that has translated into overfish-that give their lives to keep it fed. With fishing taking such a prominent ing, and how this hasrole in our lives today, one would logically assume that we as a society begun to be a major problem. By the end ofwould be doing everything in our power to watch over the fishing indus- this paragraph, we are fully prepared for histry in order to ensure there will always be a sufficient supply of seafood thesis.for us to consume. Sadly, this is not the case. Fishers today, motivated bygreed and an ever increasing demand for their product, progressively take This is a developed introduction. It beginsmore and more fish from the world’s oceans, eventually leaving large very broadly by intro-sections of the sea barren of life. This harmful and irresponsible practice ducing the reader to the idea of fishing beingis called overfishing, and is a sincere threat to the world’s ecosystem, as a key component of human societies. Aswell as the well-being of mankind as a whole . Overfishing is disastrous we move down throughto both humanity and the ecosystem due to its threat to the global econo- the paragraph, he be- comes more and moremy, its tragic effect on the ocean’s ecosystem, and its utter disregard for specific about how that has translated into over-the lives of the fish it ends up harming . fishing, and how this has begun to be a major problem. By the end of this paragraph, we are fully prepared for his thesis.
  2. 2. This is a great topic sentence to begin our first major sub-point. Clark 2 It mentions both the Clark 3 main idea of our paper The first, and possibly most important (at least from a purely prac- (overfishing is a threat) be fewer and fewer fish left to catch, eventually leaving the fishers of the as well as reconnect-tical viewpoint), problem with overfishing is its threat to the global world no way to keep up with the ever increasing demand. ing us to the key wordseconomy as a whole . It can’t be denied that the fishing industry is of he used for the first As fishers deplete more and more areas of their natural bounties, they sub-point in the the-major importance to every nation that possesses a coastline. Fishing sis (global economy). will be faced with the unfortunate inevitability that there are only so Until we see anotherprovides many countries, especially poorer countries, with an easy way many fish to go around. In his article, “Charting a New Course to Save topic sentence like this,to make money and feed their populations. Fishing is equally important we can expect the next Our Seas: A Landmark Study Offers an Urgent Directive to Revive the several paragraphs toto landlocked countries as well, because seafood is just as much a staple focus solely on the Oceans,” noted environmentalist author Ben Carmichael cites a recent global economic impactin many national diets as livestock and plant life. How important is the study that predicts that by the middle of the twenty first century, fishing of overfishing. Here he’s given usfishing industry to the global economy? In his 2006 Times Magazine yields will only be a tenth of their present numbers (par. 1). Imagine the a solid transition and topic sentencearticle “Oceans of Nothing,” author Unmesh Kher states that “Over the financial impact such a dramatic drop-off in fishing yields will have on again. He’s once again Here, he has provided us showed us the keypast three decades, the fish export trade has grown fourfold, to 30 million with a great lead-in to nations that depend heavily on the fishing industry! word he used back intons, and its value has increased ninefold, to $71 billion” (63 ). the source. This is the The second, and most overlooked, aspect of overfishing is its crushing the thesis statement. first time he’s mentioned With so many nations worldwide dependent on the success of the this source in the paper, effects on the ecosystem of the oceans . To explain this process, it would so he has given us thefishing industry, it is clear the threat posed by overfishing is a serious full name of the author be best to use an example. Imagine there is a large colony of red snapper,one. Without limits on the amount of fish they are able to catch, many as well as the type of numbering in the millions, living off the coast of an island nation. This source it was (magazinefishers are finding that once thriving fishing spots are now bereft of all article). This lets us nation happens to be quite impoverished and thus, lacking the capital to know why we shouldlife. Why is this happening? The answer is simple; many fishers, think- trust the credibility of focus on more industrial trades, finds itself relying more and more oning solely about the short term, catch as many fish as they can from one this source. fishing to sustain itself. The red snapper living just off the coast of this is-area, not leaving enough of the local fish population to sustain itself. land is in great demand throughout the world, adorning the dinner tablesWhen they later return to the same area looking for another record catch, of the wealthy and powerful. The nation, seeing a chance for a greatthey are dismayed to find that there are simply no more fish to catch, profit, proceeds to catch as many of the snappers as possible, until onlywhat few remained free from their last having since died out. The fishers a small number remain. This obviously has a devastating effect on thethen move on to new areas of the oceans, repeating the cycle of catch- community of red snappers, reducing their population to mere thousands,ing an unsustainable amount of fish in one area and leaving it barren but it also has an effect on the rest of the creatures living off the coast ofbefore continuing on another area. If this cycle is to continue, there will said island.
  3. 3. Clark 4 Clark 5 The hammerhead sharks living in the ocean, who feed primarily From an ethical standpoint, the mass number of deaths caused by }on the island’s snapper population, find themselves slowly dying from overfishing is highly detrimental to the future of life in the ocean. Asstarvation as the snappers become progressively scarcer. Before the stated earlier, overfishing will be ruinous to the populations of in-demandisland nation began fishing the red snapper, the hammerheads were ocean life. How much so? Kher claims that almost nine-tenths of thealready few in number, barely a thousand swam the ocean deep. How- In this point, he didn’t oceans main predatory fish (most notably the tuna and cod) have all have as much devel-ever, they quickly find even this small number dwindling to the dozens opment. Sometimes, but vanished due to overfishing (63). Take a moment, if you will, to let you’ll have some sub-as the snapper, their main food source, is now nowhere to be found. that figure sink in. Ninety percent of all predatory fish are gone, most points that may be muchConversely, the island’s population of krill, who were eaten en masse by larger than others. I like likely forever. Fish such as the tuna and cod, which only mere decades how he’s sandwichedthe snappers and numbered in the billions, explodes tremendously due this smaller point be- ago were among the most common meals served throughout most of tween two larger ones into a lack of predators. Eventually the krill find themselves dying off as the world, have almost gone completely extinct due to overfishing in the essay.well due to a lack of food. As this example shows, the fate of one species an alarmingly short period of time. All of this is due to the greed of thein an ecosystem is greatly intertwined with the fate of those it feeds and fishers who just had to have that slightly higher paycheck.feeds off of; if one dies off, its predators/prey will likely suffer as well, if There are some who claim that the threat that overfishing poses isnot die out entirely, destroying an entire ecosystem in the process. This highly sensationalized, and is not as important as most claim. In hismay seem an implausible scenario to some, but it is reality, and continues article for Seacoast Online “Falling for Fisheries Collapse Hook, Line,to occur in oceans all across the world, leaving nothing but empty water Sinker,” writer Jim Hutchinson Jr. quotes a handful of scientists thatin its wake . claim overfishing is exaggerated (par. 1). However, if this is the case, The third, and final problem with overfishing is its inhumane treat- how can they explain the near extinction of the cod and tuna, along withment of the ocean life it endangers. Overfishing is the cause of countless all the other species of fish disappearing from the ocean every day? Indeaths of innocent fish every year. Make no mistake, I am by no means their article for Mainstream, a publication of the Animal Protection Insti-advocating humanity stop fishing entirely. By its very definition, fish- tute entitled “Something Fishy Going On,” environmental authors Barrying requires the death of some ocean life in order to provide food for the Kent MacKay and Fran Stricker tell the story of how common cod usedworld. However, when fishers care so little about the lives of their catch to be in Newfoundland centuries ago, compared to its utter scarcity inthat they eventually end up driving them to extinction, it is hard to argue modern days due to overfishing (par. 6-10). If what Hutchinson and thethere are ethical boundaries being crossed. scientists he quoted is true, how do they explain the disappearance of the
  4. 4. Clark 6 Clark 7there is little to no danger of overfishing having a major impact in the Works Cited:ocean’s ecosystem, where are the rest of the cod hiding? They, along with Carmichael, Ben. “Overfishing Threatens the World’s Oceans.” OnEarthothers that doubt the severity of overfishing, will have no answers to those (Spring 2007): n. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 12questions. Nov. 2011. Overfishing is one of the largest environmental problems we are cur- Hutchinson, Jim, Jr. “The Threat Posed by Overfishing is Exaggerated.”rently facing, due to its frightening potential effects on the global econo- SeaCoast Online (Dec. 2007): n. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in my, its utter destruction of the oceans’ ecosystems, and its near genocidal Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.effect on countless species of fish. Despite the few detractors that doubt its MacKay, Barry Kent, and Fran Stricker. “Something Fishy Going On.”legitimacy, overfishing is just as much a concrete, legitimate threat to our Mainstream Spring 1998: n. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints inenvironment as global warming, and demands a solution with just as much Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.haste. There is a general consensus among scientists that, although we are Kher, Unmesh. “Oceans of Nothing.” Time Magazine 12 Nov. 2006: n.not able to bring back those species of ocean life already extinct, we can pag. Print.reverse overfishing before it is too late. However, the question remains:will we join together to stop the mass extinction of the ocean life we haverelied upon for millennia, or will we chose apathy and remain blissfully In the conclusion, he’s done a good job ofignorant of the danger until the consequences come flooding in? concisely restating his position again.