Oceans & Fisheries Diplomatic Simulation: The Global Impact of Overfishing

Overfishing is an important global issue because
it really gets to one of the key issues that brings in other issues. Issues related to food security, environmental
conservation, national security issues. Fisheries especially ocean fisheries are quite
unusual in that beyond areas that countries actually control off their own coasts, everything
that is out the common area is a common resource. And unlike trees where you know where they
grow and you know who has the right to cut them down, and you can manage it, where you’re
talking about things out in that area what we call high seas, beyond any country’s
jurisdiction. Everybody has to cooperate to manage it and
so if there is uh an overfishing going on, which means that more fish are being taken
than can biologically sustain themselves. That means that you have fundamental issues
of fairness of environmental security because those fish get eaten by people but they also
get eaten by other fish and it has downstream effects. Sometimes fishing activities can actually
harm the marine environment itself if you use things like dynamite or heavy metals things
to catch the fish. It also gets into areas where countries are
fighting over trade issues or over other issues and they play out in the fisheries realm.

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