Overfishing has become an increasing concern over the past few decades. However through the use of technology there are increased solutions for combatting this problem. Technology platforms such as App for Workers, Bar Codes, Eyes on the Sea, Global Fishing Watch, and Tech for Tuna are the future to help save the oceans from over fishing.
In an industry like commercial fishing, regulations must be monitored in order to prevent overfishing and maintain a healthy population. Despite everyone’s efforts in combatting this problem, 25% of the world’s fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted, and another 52% is fully exploited. But with the use of technology this problem could potentially be reduced and eventually resolved.
But can technology really make a substantial impact on the overfishing forefront? Personally I believe it will be a challenge for fishing companies to carry out these technological advances. Although tech companies are making it easier for fishing vessels to prevent overfishing there is still not a simplest solution. The App For Workers is an application that allows Burmese and Cambodian migrant workers around the world to inform and report their working conditions. But the problem I see with this solution is the availability of smartphones for these workers. The workers on these ships are hired for cheap labor and a lot of them can’t afford luxury items such as a smartphone, something that we take for granted. Obviously not every vessel is going to be run up to code, so the use of this app could be important. But with a short of cellphones this genius idea could be an utter failure.
The use of Bar Codes could be an answer to the prayers that overfishing activists have been looking for, but I see downsides to this solution as well. With few monitoring restrictions on the open water the room for potential problems are endless. The barcode can provide a permanent record of where the fish was caught, the species, the weight and the boat that it was caught on. But what happens if fish aren’t scanned? The potential for black market fish sales are even greater, and undersized fish could be kept and not counted on hand. Also another step in the fishing process could decrease production, and pure laziness could get in the way of saving the drastically decreasing marine life.
But with platforms such as Eyes on the Seas and Global Fishing Watch I see huge potential in identifying illegal fishing. This could help prevent fishing in protected areas and help maintain a new standard for commercial fishing. Although I don’t see this problem being fixed in the near future, I believe that this can be a start. Through the use of technology I see fishing becoming much more stringent in the future, and I hope that this can be resolved before we are completely depleted of our greatest food source.