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Home > Take Me Fishing Blog > November 2017 > Practical Ways You Can Help with Ocean Conservation
Our oceans are huge. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that about 97 percent of the earth’s water is contained in oceans. It was once assumed by many that we couldn’t possibly make a dent in this vast fisheries resource. However, we continue to study our influences and thus learn better methods for ocean conservation.
The orange roughy is good case of a need for fishing conservation studies. This delicious, deep water fish found its way to restaurant menus in the 1980’s. When commercial catch rates began to decline, it was learned for example in New Zealand that these fish are extremely slow-growing. We now know orange roughy don’t reproduce until 15-20 years old and may live as long as 120 years. It takes many years of monitoring fish, especially deep-water, slow-growing species to learn what harvest rates are sustainable.
Fish populations fluctuate naturally over time. There are good years and bad years, affected by factors such as weather and currents. This complicates assessment of ocean conservation efforts. Marine life conservation takes great amounts of continual research to determine trends and the best methods to manage harvest. However, instances of declining fish populations such as redfish and striped bass have rebounded due to changes in catch rates and harvest size restrictions.
We love the ocean but possibly take it and its enormous buffering capabilities for granted. We are constantly making new discoveries and learning better ocean conservation approaches. And don’t forget, funds from fishing licenses and boating registrations go toward great conservation efforts too.
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Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.
The largemouth bass is the most popular freshwater game fish in the U.S. Learn more about how you can identify a largemouth bass, where to catch it and what bait and lures to use.
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