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There are four important fishing areas in the world, which are all, located in the temperate region. The major fishing areas are:
(a) the North west Pacific-seas bordering central and north-em Japan, northern China, Korea and northeastern Russia;
(b) the Northwest Atlantic coast of Newfoundland and New England;
(c) the Northeast Atlantic comprising shallow waters off the European coast extending from the Barents Sea in the north to the Bay of Biscay;
(d) the Northeast Pacific from Alaska to California.
A: Northwest Pacific: Japan occupies a strategic position for fishing. The mixing of two currents, Kuroshio warm waters with the cold waters of the Oyashio favors the vigorous growth of fish in the inter-island straits and seas and in the nearby shallow waters.
The fisheries of Japan have an annual production of 8-10 billion pounds and marine products account for about 20-25 per cent of the World's total out put. The coasts of Japan, the Pacific waters east of Japan and the Yellow and China seas and the coasts of Korea and Karafuto and the margins of the Okhtosk sea-are the areas of concentration of fishing. Japan has a total coastline of 17000 miles. In the vast and extensive fishing grounds, various types of fish, viz., cod, herring, salmon, mackerel, trout, bonito, tuna and lobster, etc. are usually caught in large numbers. Most of the catches are locally consumed.
B: Northwest Atlantic (The coasts of Newfoundland and New England): The banks off the coasts of the New England and Newfoundland constitute one of the most important fishing grounds of the world. There are many submerged platforms in this area. The continental shelf is very broad and has many banks. Grand Banks, south-east of Newfoundland, with an area of 37,000 sq. miles: the Sable Island Bank, southeast of Nova Scotia, with an area of about 7000 sq. miles; the Georges Banks, immediately east of Cape Cod, with an area of 8500 sq. miles are the important sources of fish particularly of cod and haddock. Besides cod and haddock, other species like herring, mackerel, flounder are also caught in this area. The maximum catches are made along the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. ST. John, Halifax, Portland, Nova Scotia, Boston, and New York are the ports through which fishing is largely done.
This area is a good breeding ground for fish as it is the meeting place of the warm Gulf Stream and cold Labrador Current. So it abounds in organic food and plankton. Oysters, clams and lobsters are also caught.
C :North-east Atlantic (The coasts of North-west Europe):
The seas in this area are an important fishing ground in the world. Britain, France, Holland and Norway are the four leading nations participating in large-scale fishing. The location of the Netherlands in the North Sea made it natural for the Dutch to engage in fishing, especially for herring. The North Sea contains submerged land and is shallow with many banks, viz., Dogger Bank and Great Fisher Bank. Due to the influence of warm Gulf Stream, the sea remains free from ice and available for fishing all the year round. it is an important fishing ground of the world responsible for the production of 25 per cent of the whole world's total production. The waters of this area are rich in plankton-the basic food supply of fish.
The numerous water inlets (fiords) of Norway are ideal for fishing. The Trondheim Fiord and Sogne Fiord are more than 100 miles long providing ample scope for fishing. Lofoten inlands are noted for the production and export of cod liver oil.
In Britain, the fishing activity is concentrated on the eastern coasts facing the North Sea. Grimsby is the greatest fishing port of the world for the variety and value of fish landed. Cod, herring, halibut and sardines form the main catch. Oysters are also caught.
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