We’re taking too many wild plants and animals from nature!
Overharvesting, also called overexploitation, refers to harvesting something, such as wild medicinal plants, in an excessive or unsustainable manner to a harmful degree. All living organisms require resources to survive, and if we continue to overharvest these resources for extended periods of time it can have irreversible impacts like the destruction or depletion of the resource, as well as the extinction at the population level and even extinction of whole species. Therefore, not only is the resource harvested being threatened, but so are the other species that rely on that resource, and humans can be directly impacted as well.
Don’t worry! There’s plenty of fish in the sea… Have you ever come across this phrase? Because you should definitely worry, and here’s why.
Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. It is a profitable practice, but it has serious consequences if it isn’t practiced sustainably. It not only affects the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish to live.
In the Arabian Gulf, before oil was discovered, fishing and pearl diving were vital economic activities to the people and communities and were key components of the UAE’s heritage. But the overharvesting of natural pearl beds led to its decline. Additionally, although fishing is still a major industry, some of the UAE’s most popular fish, like the hammour, shaari and kanaad are about to vanish from the sea! Extensive overfishing has led some populations to become critically endangered and the mentioned species have been overexploited up to FIVE times the sustainable limit (Gulf News, 2016)!
Can you imagine an ocean without fish? For 3 billion people, a world without fish is a world without food… Now, can you imagine a world without food?
Link to the Knowledge Hub Glossary: https://www.connectwithnature.ae/knowledge-hub/knowledge-hub-glossary-0