Friday, August 14, 2020

Fisheries at Constitution Beach

Team Claudia exploring Constitution Beach

    This week at Constitution Beach in East Boston, our team learned about the different types of fisheries around the world. Mostly, we focused on commercial fisheries and the different methods that are used. A fishery is an economical aspect of each country that entails fisherman using equipment to harvest seafood in any scale. This also includes aquaculture, which is farming seafood inland in ponds and areas designated so that the environment is controlled instead of wild-caught (from the ocean). Countries like the United States, Peru, and China have leading fisheries because they have huge fleets that fish out millions of tons of fish and other seafood from our oceans every year. However, this scale of fishing causes over-fishing, which is the process of retrieving so many fish from the water that they have no time to reproduce for their future offspring. This causes ecological collapse, so the term "leader" should not be applied to these harsh, over-the-top practices. 

Team Claudia + STH staff at Spectacle Island

Here in Boston, commercial fisheries usually catch monkfish, lobster, scallops, mackerel, black sea bass, and a few more. The Boston Harbor Islands are a popular destination for sport and recreational fishing year round and attract many fisher-people from all over. Massachusetts, along with most governing bodies around the world, have fishery limits and laws that they must adhere to. Animal size and quota limits, gear specifications, and protected areas are main ways to keep what is caught to a sustainable size. Although these are set in place to help maintain healthy oceans and bountiful population sizes for future generations to use, regulations are not always followed and a whole lot of "sea piracy" occurs within fisheries. A lot of catch sizes and bycatch numbers go unreported, so we often don't know exactly how much of what is taken out. 

Will and Ruben as invasive crabs 

Ari and Vanessa 

    Whether we know it or not, we all interact with local fisheries one way or another. Eating any type of seafood means you contribute to fisheries, either locally or from international economies. It is always best to eat locally-caught seafood. This helps prevent countries from fishing way outside of their zones and in international waters, which may affect already-hindered third world countries that rely on local fish populations as a way of living. Even if you don't eat seafood, the fishing industry affects you if you live in coastal areas because much of the fishing economy benefits the general well-being of the port area and helps boost the local economy. If there's something to take away from this blog post, it's: don't be afraid to ask where your seafood came from, always eat sustainably-caught seafood, and don't be afraid of seafood that comes from aquaculture, it helps keep the oceans healthy. 

Catch me on the coast! 


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