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Sustainable Fisheries

Hey peeps, I bring to you another experience from a field trip that I had the last weekend with some of my classmates, a trip to Sotenäs Industrial Symbiosis Network (northern Gothenburg – west coast).  The aim of this trip was to see and understand how the community of little less than 10,000 people has managed to achieve high levels of sustainability in different sectors… for purpose of awesomeness and innovation, I’ll be focusing the post one of the fisheries that we visited.

But why fishing is a concern for not only environmentalist, but for you reader who loves eating fresh nordic salmon or you who enjoys a delicious fish ceviche… well, overfishing (capturing more adult fishes than the ones needed to replenish the population)  is a very real situation all around the world, where more than 70 % of Earth’s fish stocks suffer from OVEREXPLOITATION. One of the main reasons is called by-catch, which means that fishermen use unsustainable gears that capture different aquatic species than only fish; species, that are not the ones meant to fish such as turtles, sharks, seabirds, youngfish, corals, etc.  But wait a minute, not everything is lost! Look at the image below…

What you are seeing is a sustainable gear used in a fishery in Sotenäs! Why is this technology sustainable? Well, now you have to strongly use your imagination haha…. Desired fish (for example large cods) enter through an open space in the bottom-right part of the image. Then, they are trapped in the second compartment (the one behind the yellow part) thanks to the large space on top this yellow part. Of course, there are other smaller fishes entering the net with other marine creatures as the ones named above; nevertheless, the net is designed in a way (sorry for the bad quality of the picture) where the different diameter holes make it easier for smaller species (or not desired ones) to scape the net and stay in the ocean.

Well, in conclusion what they are doing there is awesome! They created this net for it to only catch the fishes they needed, but in a way of not killing other species while letting the small ones to grow naturally and restore the balance to the system. Moreover, they told us that at least in the EU zone, there are strong laws on fishing practices,

  • They can’t discard unwanted fish (another problem that affects ecosystems as they throw away dead overfished creatures that pollute the ecosystem),
  • Each region has a maximum amount on weight for fishing, in a way to preserve the ecosystem… they better use sustainable practices to maximize their catch don’t you think?

Remember that you should eat sustainably as well and  about the practices behind the dish your are about to eat. Let’s just stay with the fact that over 3 billion people depend on seafood, so let’s invest in sustainable practices!

What’s warm as the Sun and spicy as a jalapeño? My home country México. My name is Fernando and I came to Sweden to study the master’s programme in Sustainable Technology at KTH. Come, join me to learn and understand the importance of having a sustainable lifestyle, and where else to do this than in Sweden?