The feeling of catching a fish gives an incomparable adrenaline rush, maybe that’s why it’s a popular activity. For some people, it’s a leisure sport which allows you to sit back and enjoy the tranquility of surrounding waters. However, fishing can be quite damaging to the environment. Ill-suited equipment, trash left behind, and oil spills are disrupting and destroying aquatic habitats and ecosystems.
Fishing can be damaging to the environment. Ill-suited equipment, trash left behind, and oil spills are disrupting and destroying aquatic habitats and ecosystems.
That being said, giving up fishing is not the only solution. You can have the best of both worlds by adopting sustainable fishing practices.
Find Out Fishing Regulations
Before you go fishing anywhere, make sure you are aware of all the fishing regulations. Fishing laws are put in place to protect marine life. Adhere to these rules and regulations to avoid overfishing or fishing endangered species.
Practice ‘Catch & Release’ Technique
If you’re fishing for recreational purposes, then you should definitely practice the ‘catch & release’ fishing technique. Instead of keeping the fish, release it back and give it a chance to survive and procreate. Use the right hooks and equipment for catch & release fishing.
Be Gentle When Releasing
When you’re taking a fish out with the intention of releasing it back, make sure you’re not too rough. Try to be as gentle as possible to increase its chance of survival.
Keep Your Boat in Good Shape
Keeping your boat in good shape is crucial to minimize harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Take a look at your engine, batteries, bilge, and other components to ensure they are working properly. Also, avoid filling your fuel tank more than 90% to prevent oil spills.
Don’t Release Invasive Species
If you catch a non-native fish, don’t throw it back. Such invasive species can be threatening to native marine life. Make sure you remember to alert the authorities about this.
Be Prepared for Oil Spills
Oil spills pollute the water bodies and deplete them of oxygen. In case fuel or oil spills occur, be a responsible fisherman and clean it up. Always keep filtration fabric in your boat to efficiently clean oil spills. Additionally, look for recyclable and sustainable oil spill solutions.
Improper anchoring techniques can damage coral reefs, shellfish beds, and other marine ecosystems. Learn the right anchoring techniques to ensure you’re not causing such damage.
Don’t Use Tackle with Lead
Lead is toxic for fish, just like it is for humans. Make sure you use lead-free tackle and other non-toxic fishing equipment.
Start Composting Leftovers
If you’re taking your catch home, use the whole fish if you can. Instead of just eating the fillet, put the entire fish in the oven or the grill.
Of course, there will be some parts of the fish that are inedible, like the bones. You should start composting instead of throwing those away.
Use Renewable Energy
Non-renewable sources are not the only option to fuel your boat. Use green alternatives like solar panels and wind generators to power your boat. By using renewable energy, you will be helping the environment as well as saving fuel costs, as most renewable sources are virtually free and inexhaustible.
Clean Up After Yourself
When you’re done fishing, don’t leave litter behind. The golden rule is to leave the place better than you found it.
Apply Eco-friendly Sunscreen
It’s very important to apply sunscreen, especially when you’ll be spending time outside. Certain chemicals like oxybenzone found in sunscreens can wash into the oceans and harm corals. Remember to apply eco-friendly sunscreen when going fishing.
The Bottom Line
The responsibility to preserve our oceans lies on every one of us. Practicing sustainable fishing can be a way to do your part in helping the environment.
What are your suggestions for practicing sustainable fishing?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.