Wild fisheries


A fishery is an area with an associated fish or aquatic population which is harvested for its commercial value. Fisheries can be marine (saltwater) or freshwater. They can also be wild or farmed.
As a contrast to wild fisheries, farmed fisheries can operate in sheltered coastal waters, in rivers, lakes and ponds, or in enclosed bodies of water such as tanks. Farmed fisheries are technological in nature, and revolve around developments in aquaculture. Farmed fisheries are expanding, and Chinese aquaculture in particular is making many advances. Nevertheless, the majority of fish consumed by humans continues to be sourced from wild fisheries. As of the early 21st century, fish is humanity's only significant wild food source.
An ocean current is continuous, directed movement of ocean water. Ocean currents are rivers of relatively warm or cold water within the ocean. The currents are generated from the forces acting upon the water like the planet rotation, the wind, the temperature and salinity (hence isopycnal) differences and the gravitation of the moon. The depth contours, the shoreline and other currents influence the current's direction and strength.
Phytoplankton is usually the primary producer (the first level in the food chain or the first trophic level). Phytoplankton converts inorganic carbon into protoplasm. Phytoplankton is consumed by microscopic animals called zooplankton. These are the second level in the food chain, and include krill, the larva of fish, squid, lobsters and crabs–as well as the small crustaceans called copepods, and many other types. Zooplankton is consumed both by other, larger predatory zooplankters and by fish (the third level in the food chain). Fish that eat zooplankton could constitute the fourth trophic level, while seals consuming the fish are the fifth. Alternatively, for example, whales may consume zooplankton directly - leading to an environment with one less trophic level.
The shelf usually ends at a point of decreasing slope (called the shelf break). The sea floor below the break is the continental slope. Below the slope is the continental rise, which finally merges into the deep ocean floor, the abyssal plain. The continental shelf and the slope are part of the continental margin.
A seamount is an underwater mountain, rising from the seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface (sea level), and thus is not an island. They are defined by oceanographers as independent features that rise to at least 1,000 meters above the seafloor. Seamounts are common in the Pacific Ocean. Recent studies suggest there may be 30,000 seamounts in the Pacific, about 1,000 in the Atlantic Ocean and an unknown number in the Indian Ocean.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment. Wild fisheries flourish in oceans, lakes, and rivers, and the introduction of contaminants is an issue of concern, especially as regards plastics, pesticides, heavy metals, and other industrial and agricultural pollutants which do not disintegrate rapidly in the environment. Land run-off and industrial, agricultural, and domestic waste enter rivers and are discharged into the sea. Pollution from ships is also a problem.
Surveys have shown that 54% of lakes in Asia are eutrophic; in Europe, 53%; in North America, 48%; in South America, 41%; and in Africa, 28%. Estuaries also tend to be naturally eutrophic because land-derived nutrients are concentrated where run-off enters the marine environment in a confined channel. The World Resources Institute has identified 375 hypoxic coastal zones around the world, concentrated in coastal areas in Western Europe, the Eastern and Southern coasts of the US, and East Asia, particularly in Japan. In the ocean, there are frequent red tide algae blooms that kill fish and marine mammals and cause respiratory problems in humans and some domestic animals when the blooms reach close to shore.