Fishing is a challenging industry to earn a living from. There are licenses to obtain, regulations to uphold, fishing seasons to follow, dwindling schools to hunt down, fierce competition, fluctuating markets, and illegal fishing to contend with. Not to mention the danger of a life spent on water, ever subject to her turbulent seas and moody weather. But, the world loves to eat fish, making it a hot international commodity. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that over 3 billion people eat fish regularly. Communities of all sizes, locations, and development depend on fish and the fishing industry nutritionally and economically. In 2016 the FAO reported that an estimated 56.6 million people worldwide work in fishing industries – both fish farming and open water fishing – with 36% of those employed full time. Estimated at 4.6 million in 2014, that’s a lot of fishing boats on the water.
Every angler knows what their daily catch limit is whether they’re standing on a dock at the cottage or heading out to sea with a crew. There’s a fish for every season, and a season for every fish. The laws protecting some bodies of water prohibit gas motors, while others require that a vessel be thoroughly decontaminated before entering. Laws and regulations like these are in place to protect the environment at large, to support the specific needs of individual ecosystems, and to ensure fishing sustainability globally and for populations whose food sources are dependent upon fishing. And we would be remiss not to point out that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. The adherence to these regulations, no matter where you fish, is vital to our planet, which is why international lawmakers are cracking down on illegal fishing in a big way.
Summers in Canada conjure up images of sitting out on the dock of the bay, fishing pole cast into a serene lake while off in the distance a loon lets out its distinct call.
Over on the Discovery Channel, they are reminding us that all sorts of fishing activity is happening in some not so serene places. Deadliest Catch (airing Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.) follows the crews of fishing vessels in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan crab seasons. After a couple episodes you will quickly discover where the show gets its title when you see the high level of risk for the crew aboard these boats. Huge rogue waves and frigid waters combined with massive industrial fishing equipment being hurled around at breakneck speed makes for some extreme TV.