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How Do Fishing and Hydropower Impact Our Marine Environment?

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“Marine Stewardship Council. Sustainable fishing. Fishing has an impact on our marine environment. The impacts of fishing are complex, hard to measure and vary from one fishery to the next.”

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You do not have to be a genius to understand that all human activity on this planet, including fishing, has an impact on our environment. Over-fishing, pollution, and warming of water sources have, in fact, led to the collapse of many marine ecosystems.

In Finland for example, where we have lots of dams and hydroelectric power (which generated 23,6 % of total electricity in Finland in 2016: Sähköntuotanto energialähteittäin 2016 (Electricity production per energy source in 2016), hydroelectric power is referred to being a renewable energy source, although it is a known fact how much dams and hydropower damage our rivers and lakes, e.g. influencing the natural habitat of flora and fauna. We have currently 423 classified dams in Finland (Patojen vahingonvaara/Accidental risks of dams) , and the consumption of hydroelectric power has drastically decreased in the past decades, from even up to 90% of total electricity generation still in the 1960´s to the approximately 20% today (Ympäristövaikutuksia on, mutta ei ilmstopäästöjä/Effects on the environment, but no greenhouse gases). Finnish Energy admits on its homepage that dams have an ecological influence, and e.g. prevent fishes from wandering freely in their natural environment.

How can something that affects ecology and harms fish be called a renewable energy source? This year in Tampere, for example, signal crayfish population has almost completely disappeared, according a local news source, Tamperelainen. Apparently, the situation has been bad for years already, but this year the situation has been especially alarming.

Finland is often said to be one of the leading countries worldwide what comes to ecology, preservation of our environment, and clean technology. In reality, we have many alarming environmental problems in this country as well. If the situation is alarming in Finland, just think about and learn about all the environmental problems around the world.

Learn more about Climate change vulnerability of global hydropower generation by watching American Geophysical Union´s video:

 

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys – for climate-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank & subscribe to my newsletter at Leading With Passion

 

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