Don’t Dish the Fish

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Pop Culture and Environmentalism are tied into each other more than you may realize.  Popular movies such as Finding Nemo and Monster’s Inc. present major environmental issues we are facing in the United States and around the world.  In Finding Nemo the issue of overfishing and problems with recreational fishing are both portrayed in two different instances.  The problem of overfishing is presented when Dory is swept up into a huge net along with thousands of other fish.  The fishermen were not specifically fishing for Dory though, but she just happened to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This happens everyday with all kinds of different fish.  When fishermen are fishing commercially, they are solely worried about the quantity of fish.  They normally do not care if they pick other things up along with the fish.  Some other things picked up regularly include different species of fish and coral reefs.  When the reefs are swept up with the big nets, hundreds upon hundreds of fish are then left without a home.  In the movie, Dory comes very close to being caught and brought up in the net where she would take her last breaths.  She squirms her way out though at the last minute and is able to escape her close encounter with death.  However, most fish in real life are not this lucky.  Day after day, rare species of fish are swept up along with other fish accidentally.

Another problem presented in Finding Nemo is recreational fishing.  A diver is scuba diving looking for pretty fish to sell for recreational purposes.  When Nemo is caught by the diver, he is then put in a plastic bag and shipped to a dentist’s office to be put on display in a fish tank for all the dentist’s customers to see.  In this situation, Nemo is taken from the only home he has ever known and is forced to containment in a small fish tank.  This is obviously a foreign environment and is not Nemo’s natural habitat in which he is used to.  All in all, fish belong in their natural environment in the big blue and not contained in small fish tanks.  Instead of having a fish for display in somewhere like a dentist’s office, we should leave them in the oceans, lakes, and rivers where they naturally belong.

Also, if we continue this recreational fishing, the fish population will in turn continue to decrease.  Dirk J. Steenburger, a marine biologist, backs this claim up by stating that “the immense global demand for marine products has driven fish stocks in some parts of the world to complete depletion” (189).  Not only do divers catch fish to put on display, but fishermen are also fishing for commercial causes.  With such advanced technology, fishermen are able to catch abundant amounts of fish at a much quicker pace causing a drastic decrease in fish population.  We need to become aware of this upcoming problem and think twice next time we admire a fish tank or beg our mother’s for a pretty pet fish.

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