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Fishing industry or fisheries
Refers to the activity (activities) that involves establishment, development and exploitation of different fish resources. This is carried out in the water bodies both man made and natural. Fishing has developed much in the world especially in the temperate regions where water is cool and the fishing grounds are many. Fishing is well developed in the countries like Norway, Japan, Canada, Russia and other African countries like South Africa, Namibia and Angola. East African fishing industry is not well developed despite having many water bodies and a long coastal line.

Fishing is referred to as a robber industry because in many parts of the world catching is not balanced by replenishing the fish stock. This has been due to the introduction of faster and more powerful fishing vessels and modern fishing equipment to meet the ever increasing demand for more food needed for the burgeoning population. Hence fishing is excessive compared to replacement by reproduction.
Conditions that favor the development of fishing industry
1. 1. Cool climate with temperature lower than 20C. The cool water of temperate seas are more suited for the breeding of fish than the tropical water. Valuable species like salmon, cod, herring, haddock, and mackerel are found in the temperate seas.
2. 2. Availability of planktons. Planktons are used as food by fish and hence fish are plentiful where there is a lot of plankton. Plankton flourishes under cool and shallow water and in the presence of plenty of mineral salt.
3. 3. Physical environment along the coastal characterized by indentations provide ideal sites for ports. Some of the greatest fishing ports of the world like St.John (New found land) and Bergen (Norway) are found along the intended coastlines.
Types of fish
There are three categories of fish that are salt water fish, fresh water fish and anadromous fish.
1. Salt-water fish
Include the fish species that live in the seas, oceans, and salty lakes, Herring, which is most common in Norway, Ice-Land, Sweden, Japan and China is an example of salt water fish.

Salt water fish can be divided into;
1. a. Pelagic species. The species that live close to the surface water of the oceans and the seas. They move in large shoals. The most common species are Herring and Mackerel found in the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of west Europe, Sardines found in the Mediterranean sea. New England and North America. Anchovies small fish mainly caught off the coast of Peru. Anchovies are used for making fis
h meal that is fed to animals and as fertilizer and Menhaden found off the coast of North America. It accounts for 1/3 of total catch in USA. Menhaden is used for fertilizers and animal feed. It has very high content of nitrates and phosphorus .Others are pilchard.
2. b. Dermesal species. These are species found at the bottom of the seas and oceans. The most important species include cod, which is a large fish of 1.5 meters long used for extracting oil. It is mainly fished from the North sea off the coast of Norway and Iceland. Other demises fish species are Tuna, Haddock, Hake, Snapper, group and Halibut. These are fished off the coast of British Columbia.
2. Fresh Water Fish;
These include the species that live in the lakes like Lake Tanganyika and Victoria, Edward, Albert and Turkana, and rivers like Ugalla river, Rufiji and Kagera rivers. They are not as important as salt water species and do not swim in shoals. Fresh water fishing in Europe and USA is a part time occupation.
In USA it takes place in the great lakes (i.e Michigan, Huron, Superior, Erie and Ontario). These are the most important inland fishing grounds. The species found are perch, pike, trout and salmon. In Russia, Japan and China inland Fishing is important. Inland Fishing in Africa takes place in the lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, Lake Turkana where Nile perch is fished, and Lake Naivasha.
3. Anadromous Fishing;
These are species spawn in rivers but spend their lifetime in oceans and seas. They later return to rivers to spawn and die. The most common species include Salmon. This is most fished in North America. Salmon travels in large numbers. Once fished it can be conserved while fresh or sometimes smoked and canned. There are canning factories in Canada (at Vancouver).

Fishing Methods used include;
1. a. Drifting in which the drift nets hang vertically like the table tennis. The method is used in catching pelagic fish. The fish gills are caught in the mesh when the fish is trying to swim across the drift net.
2. b. Trawling in which the trawl net is used. This is bag shaped net used in catching the dermises fish as it is dragged by using the trawler.
3. c. Seining that involve the use of haul seine and purse seine. They have intermediate features between drift net and trawler. Haul seine net looks like a drift net but is smaller and the purse seine net looks like a trawl net but also smaller in size. The seine net is pulled to surround the shoal of fish It is used by fishermen in small boats or by land based fishermen.
4. d. Lining in which lines fitted with hooks are use to catch fish. It is used where trawlers and seine nets cannot be used especially where the sea floor is rugged. It is used for large fish like tuna. Two types of line are used that is Hand-line (haul line) which is a line with a single baited hook cast from the deck. It can be drawn from water when the float indicates that the fish has been hooked. It is popular for spot fishing but uneconomical. Long lines is associated with many hooks (500 to 5000) attached to it. It can be several kilometers towed by dories or large streamer.
5. e. Whaling by the use of power fired harpoons which normally carry an explosive charge. It is used for catching whales especially in Japan.
Other methods, which are used especially In East Africa are bows and arrows and spears (but this method is in decline), The use of fish baskets and fish traps, scoop nets, cast nets called Kitagala In lake Victoria, gill nets and the use of poisonous chemicals and dynamite as it is being done along the coast. Most of traditional methods are destructive to the fish species and their habitats.
Fishing industry is well developed in Norway and it takes place in the North Sea. It is leading country in Europe. Fishing is done in the sea because fish farming inland is difficult due to the harsh climate. The species commonly fishing are cold and herring. The development has been due to the following factors;
1. 1. Presence of the continental shelf that provide shallow water and fish food (planktons). This is far due to the sunlight penetration in the shallow water that encourages the growth of planktons. The water do not exceed a depth of 185m (about 600ft).
2. 2. Long indented coastline, which provide fishing grounds and sheltered harbors.
3. 3. The North Atlantic Drift (the ocean current) which is warm has led to the favorable conditions for fish industry development. The drift also brings and distributes food along the coast.
4. 4. The need for raw material for oil making industries has encouraged the fishing industry.
5. 5. Limited agricultural land, forest and mineral deposits have made people opt for fishing activities. Some of the land is no longer productive.
6. 6. The high demand balanced diet in the urban areas has provided market for industry.
7. 7. Good transport and communication has also encouraged. For example there are advanced ports like scavenger, Oslo, Moss, Trondheim, Alison, and Haguesund.
8. 8. The use of advanced fishing facilities like refrigerated cargo vessels for transporting to other parts of the world. These have been a result of the use of advanced technology. Some of the fish is exported while frozen to Britain for fried- fish trade.
9. 9. There has been strong government support on the fishing industry.
10. Power availability especially HEP has stimulated the development of the fishing industry.
11. Presence of wide variety of fish species like Capelin, cod, Herring, Brisling, Haddock, Sprats, Mackerel, whale, and dogfish (rock salmon). Also there has been introduction of exotic species, which are commercially more desirable.
12. Capital to be invested in fisheries is readily available.
13. The use of modern fishing methods like trawling and drift netting.
Norwegian fishing grounds
Japan is one of the three most important fishing countries in the world and its per capital consumption of fish is the biggest in the world. Inshore fishing along the coast and offshore fishing in the deep sea are taking place. Modern fishing vessels operate in the Pacific Ocean. Fishing vessels are owned by large corporations. Most vessels are refrigerated and have processing facilities. Whaling is also taking place and whaling is the second largest whaling nation in the world. The species include Cod, herring and salmon.
Factors that have facilitated the development of Fishing Industry in Japan;
1. -The broad continental shelf of the North West pacific shallow water and the meeting of warm Kuroshio and cold Oyashio currents help to produce ideal conditions for the growth of plankton. Hence both pelagic and Dermesel fish are abundant.
2. -The presence of many inlets (indentations) which provide good breeding grounds for fish and the development of fishing ports.
3. -Traditionally, the Japanese have been traveling far in the sea or oceans hence they have long experience in sea faring voyages. So this facilitated the fishing industry.
6) There are no much problems of water pollution since the ponds are kept clean.
7) Fish farming can encourage the development of trade and tourism.
General importance of fishing industry to the respective countries
1) It provides food as a source of protein.
2) Provides foreign currency when exported.
3) It contributes to the national income of the respective country.
4) Fishing helps the country to diversify their economy instead of having mono-economy, which is dangerous mono- economy involves the state in which the country depends on only one economic activity.
5) It provides employment to the people.
6) It encourages the development of industries since it acts as a source of raw materials and capital.
7) It promotes the living standard of the people by having balanced diet and improving the supply of social services.
8) Fishing leads to the development of tourism especially when sport fishing is established.
General problems facing the fishing industry
1) Overfishing because of the increased number of population and the use of tools, which kill fish indiscriminately.
2) Water pollution due to the discharge of industrial wastes into the oceans and other water bodies. Japan is facing the problem of concentration of mercury in its fishing ground due to industrial discharge.
3) Many developing countries still use inefficient traditional methods hence the annual catch is low.
4) Developing countries are also plagued by the problem of poor transport and communication, poor facilities for preservation and processing etc.
5) There is also a problem of low or inadequate capital for investment.
Management and conservation measures
1) People should stop fishing immature fish and hence good fishing facilities should be introduced to achieve the goal.
2) Water bodies should be protected from pollution. People should not discharge harmful wastes into the ocean or other water bodies since they can cause death of fish and other organisms.
3) The over fished water bodies should be restocked in order to maintain the fishing activities.
4) The use of artificial fertilization of eggs should be encouraged in order to promote fishing activities.
5) Encouraging fish farming in the country in order to avoid the problem of overfishing and improve the supply of good quality fish.
6) More researches should be organized in order to have a profound knowledge on fish and fish farming and general conservation techniques.
7) There should be an international agreement on fisheries and the boundaries of the fishing regions should be identified to avoid interference and mismanagement.

8) Farmers or fishermen should be educated on better fishing methods so as to attain sustainable fishing techniques.

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