For a decade or more, environmental and conservation groups, marine life enthusiasts, and sustainability researchers warned that the fishing industry was not only destroying the oceans of the world and brutally crippling local, subsistence based economies around the world, but they were setting themselves up for a downfall when the eventual collapse of the fisheries came. But no one listened, the nay sayers labeled those who issued such warnings as being "extremists, alarmists, and radical environmentalists". But now, as fisheries around the world are beginning to decay and collapse, we see that those alarmists and radicals were right.
For far too long, the commercial fishing industries of the world, particularly those in the United States, have been given what amounts to a free reign to pillage and exploit the waters of the world’s seas and oceans at will, regardless of the high price tag attached to such behavior or the devastation that is left in their wake. Even in cases where regulations have been put to paper, such as the “Dolphin Safe" requirements for tuna, the enforcement of these regulations and in fact the weak and loophole ridden wording of the regulations themselves, have only added to the problem and allowed unscrupulous businesses and fishermen to get around federal and local laws.
This has resulted in the current situation where we see large portions of the ocean that have been destroyed, several species of fish
and other marine life on the verge of extinction, and fisheries beginning to collapse, jeopardizing the incomes and food sources for thousands of people around the world and in the United States. In this series on exposing the ills of the commercial fishing industry both domestically and abroad, we will investigate the methods and business practices that have lead to this disaster, explore the devastating impact that the fishing industry has had on the environment, look at the variety of marine life that we may lose because of it, examine the economic and personal costs that have resulted from commercial fishing, and lastly we will discuss what needs to be done to help minimize the situation and to prevent even further tragedies instigated by the fishing industry.