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Commercial Fisheries | English Lesson

Dec 29, 2021

Fishery: the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish.

Wild fishery: a natural body of water with a fish or other aquatic animal population that can be harvested for its commercial value.

Freshwater fishery: Fishery in ponds, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and other inland waterways. The opposite of freshwater is salty water, by the way.

Ocean fisheries: Fishery in the oceans, in saltwater.

Aquaculture: Basically, it is farming in water. Aquaculture is breeding, raising, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. Related words are are fish farming and pisciculture.

Fishing season: The legally established time period when fishing is allowed.

Fishing quota: An assigned share of a fish catch by weight to an individual or enterprise. Authorities try to prevent overfishing by establishing fishing quotas.

Bycatch: is a fish or other marine species that is caught unintentionally while fishing for specific species.

Factory ship: ship accompanying a group of fishing vessels known as a fishing fleet, with facilities to process the catch.

Fish meal: ground dried fish used as fertilizer or animal feed.

Overfishing: the practice of catching fish faster than they can reproduce.

Moratorium on fishing: This is a ban on fishing, or in other words, a temporary or permanent stop to fishing.

So, speaking of a moratorium, or a ban, on fishing, there was some interesting fishing news earlier this year.

Back in June, an international agreement to ban fishing in the central Arctic Ocean finally came into force after being signed back in 2018. The agreement covers an area roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea.

This is a very relevant treaty now that the climate is changing and the ice that covers this area is melting, and the area opens for traffic, and potentially, natural resource exploration.

The agreement includes the so-called Arctic Five — Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark, and the United States — as well as the major fishing nations which operate large fishing fleets,  Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China, and the European Union.

This moratorium is the first of its kind, and it blocks any kind of fishing activity before it can start in the first place. It is a little difficult to imagine large fleets and factory ships in such an environmentally sensitive area, but as wild fish stocks diminish year after year, the pressure to open new frontiers.

For now, at least, the countries have agreed to wait until there is a greater understanding of the area and its ecosystems before considering commercial fishing in the area.   The treaty banning fishing will remain in force for 16 years, with options to extend it every five years.

Again, the moratorium covers a relatively small area, once you consider that oceans cover nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface!  It really is no surprise that commercial fishing is a very important industry for many countries.

in fact, one recent estimate puts the annual average fish catch at over 110 million tons, including wild fishery from the oceans, freshwater fishery from lakes and rivers, and fish farming. There is no doubt that commercial fishing provides nourishment for billions of people.

In fact, the majority of the fish caught is for direct human consumption – in other words, we eat it, but roughly 10% of the annual fish catch is dried and crushed into little tiny pieces and used as feed for farmed fish, or as feed for poultry, like chicken, or feed for livestock, like pigs for example. Some fish meal is still even used as fertilizer to help plants grow, but not nearly as much as in the past. By the way, the noun “feed” is a common way to talk about protein-based food for animals

In conclusion, remember these words and what they mean: Ocean fishery, wild fishery, freshwater fishery, fishing fleet, factory ship, fish farming, aquaculture, pisciculture, fish meal, fishing quota, and a moratorium on fishing.

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