One of the larger consequences of overfishing is the fact that we could deplete the fish population so low, that it can become unsustainable and the fish population can’t bounce back in there numbers.
Another consequence is that the nets, scrape the bottom of the sea floor and cause serious damage to underwater ecosystems. The other materials that are used in fishing like nets, ropes, and buoys create many casualties when left in the water and forgotten.
Dolphins, sharks, turtles and other sea inhabitants become tangled, suffocate, and show up at the surface with lesions and so forth from fishing pollution.
Then there is the question about the huge dent that overfishing can put in the natural food web. Bigger fish have become scarce because of overfishing which can lead to other life altering conditions in the underwater cycle of life.
Some economic effects is that the larger fishing industries are so vast and can go so far that it is difficult for the smaller businesses to compete for the fishing areas.
To add to the answer relating to the food web, here is an example: herring is a vital prey species for the cod. Therefore, when herring are overfished the cod population suffers too. This not only relates to other, larger fish, but birds as well. The sandeel is the main food for seabirds, specifically the puffin. When sandeel was being caught largely in the mid-1970s in Shetland, seabirds nesting in that area declined. Therefore, overfishing can lead to a food web’s destruction.
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