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What are the Effects of Commercial Fishing: A Quick Look at the Fishing Industry’s Impact on the Planet

What are the Effects of Commercial FishingAs Newton’s Third Law says, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

He may have been talking about physics but the idea applies to a lot of concepts.

It certainly rings true to everything we do on this planet as our actions have an impact on the environment.

This is why it’s crucial to find the answers to the question “what are the effects of commercial fishing?” if you’re thinking of giving it a try.

As you may well know by now, ecosystems work in harmony because everyone that is a part of it plays a role in its survival.

By taking one component out, the harmony will be affected and there will be an imbalance.

Since commercial fishing involves taking out not just one or two components of a specific ecosystem, it’s not surprising that it has a major impact on the environment.

What are these? We’ve listed them down below.

The Effects of Commercial Fishing to the Environment


Technology, growing demand, heightened competition, and greed are just some of the reasons why overfishing has become a problem with commercial fishing.

A study found that about 90 species of marine fishes in Europe are at the brink of extinction with overfishing as a leading cause of the problem.

This is a very alarming number because the continent’s fisheries are some of the most productive in the world.

Since there are little to no limits on what industrial fishing companies can take in many regions, abuse is very common.

Without any regulations in place, many large-scale fishing operations just take and take, depleting the population without any thoughts about its recovery and survival.


Man fishing by the lakeTo boost their ROI, there are commercial fishing operations that focus on quantity rather than quality.

They do not use methods that will target their catch so they often end up catching other species that are not their target, known as bycatch.

This can hurt the other populations in the ecosystem as the bycatch can get unnecessarily killed or injured in the process.

Habitat Damage

Aside from bycatch, unrefined fishing methods can also damage habitats which can then impact the marine species in it significantly.

This tends to have a longer-lasting negative effect on the animals as it complicates their population’s recovery.

Dangerous Waste

Plastic pollution in the environmental problem of the ocean turtles can eat plastics thinking they are jellyfishCommercial fishing operations can also harm marine ecologies through the waste they leave behind.

Some might just opt to leave their damaged gear behind instead of retrieving and disposing them properly.

This can result in catching and harming the population that is left behind as these items are designed to disrupt the patterns and routines in the ecosystem.

This is a wasteful and destructive impact of commercial fishing as the animals that these discarded gear get to catch will not be harvested or used in any way.

They will only be left there, trapped and hurt until they expire.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says that about a third of the world’s fisheries are pushed beyond their biological limits, primarily by industrial fishers.

This is why if you’re wondering what are the effects of commercial fishing, you should keep the items we mentioned above in mind.

Hopefully, they help you come to a decision that will favor not just you financially but the environment as well.

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