Read this article to learn about Tropical Fishing. After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Meaning of Tropical Fishing 2. Disadvantages of Tropical Fishing 3. Development.
Tropical fishing is confined within tropical areas (30° north and south of Equator). Compared to temperate commercial fishing, tropical fishing is insignificant—both in terms of quality and quantity. But contrary to the generation notion that tropical areas have no commercial fishing activities, tropical areas are registering significant growth in fish production.
The major tropical fish-producing countries are China (first in fish production), Peru and Chile (second and fourth, respectively), Indonesia (seventh), India (ninth), Thailand (Eighth), Sri Lanka etc. Most of these countries are late starters in fish production.
Despite some physico- climatic disadvantages, vast market, skilled human labour and open shallow seas now favour tremendous growth potential in those countries. Some geographers opined that future fishing activities may concentrate in tropical areas.
Various factors are responsible for the underdevelopment of fishing industry in tropical region.
These factors are:
1. Lack of Plankton:
Tropical oceans are, for obvious reasons, hotter. This hot water is not suitable for plankton growth. Planktons cannot withstand hot water and its survival rate is very low in tropical seas. Fish concentration is primarily dependent on the abundance of plankton.
2. High Temperature:
Torrid and scorching heat all over year in tropical region poses real problem in fishing activities. Ability of fishermen remain lower in excess temperature and preservation of fish also become very difficult.
3. Variety of Species:
Variety of fish species are intermingled in tropical seas. Large number of these species are not edible and, sometimes, toxic. So, sizable amount of the fish catch is generally discarded. Cost of fish production thus increases significantly.
4. Absence of Shallow Shelf:
Shallow continental shelf or banks are natural breeding grounds of fish & fish is collected abundantly from these banks. Unfortunately, tropical seas are very deep and devoid of banks.
5. Lack of indented coast line:
Broken or indented coastline is conducive to the construction of fishing harbours. Tropical coasts lack this facility.
6. Transportation bottleneck:
Speedy trans-shipment of perishable fish is a prime factor for the growth of fishing industry. Due to underdeveloped economy and inaccessible nature of the terrain, transportation in tropical areas has poorly developed.
7. Unhygienic condition:
Grossly tropical areas are infested by epidemics. Fishermen have to withstand all types of tropical diseases.
8. Under-developed Economy:
Due to under-development state of the economy, fishing industry lacks requisite technology and modern equipment due to low investment capacity and disorganized nature of the industry.
9. Low investment:
It creates a vicious circle. Due to low income, people have very little surplus. So, they cannot invest more in fishing. So, low investment leads to low production and very little surplus. Fishermen remain poor over the years.
Despite all these obstacles, tropical fishing in recent years has gone through a sea-change and experienced dramatic increase of Production.
The reasons are as follows:
(a) High internal and External Demand:
High demand is considered to be the most lucrative incentive nowadays to tropical fishermen.
(b) Abundance of fish species:
Tropical region was almost unexploited till recently. So, abundance of good quality fish provokes fishermen to exploit these untapped resources.
(c) Lack of alternative occupation:
Due to growing unemployment and lack of alternative occupation, people ventured in fishing activities.
(d) Shifting of global fishing agencies:
Large fishing corporations are now switching over to tropical areas from temperate zone because of several restrictions imposed on unrestricted fishing in temperate region, abundance of fish species and cheap rate of labour in tropical area.