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Economic factors of fishing: Banking facilities, modern equipment, transportation, refrigeration, organization of the industry, the population and the supply of foodstuffs and the price of meat are the factors which play vital role in determining the growth of commercial fisheries. As commercial fishing involves large capital outlay it has become the business of joint stock companies-operating large number of vessels and employing large number of crews.
Whaling in the Antarctic waters whales and seals are caught in large numbers. The people of Norway, Japan, Russia, Netherlands, Chile, Britain and Peru practice whaling vigorously. The vessels participating in Antarctic whaling carry factories inside where the whales are processed into oil, meal, meat and other products. Oil is the major product. About 40 thousand whales were caught in 1988 in the Antarctic against the world's total catch of 70 thousand. Japan, Norway, U.S.S.R. and the U.K. caught 15 thousand, 9 thousand, 9 thousand and 4 thousand whales respectively.
Whale oil supplied about 25 per cent of the need of margarine and soap industry of Britain. Whale and sperm oil production amounted to 500 thousand metric tonnes in 1988. About 70 per cent of whale catch is from the Antarctic waters.
Fur Sealing: Next to whale, seals are largely caught in the Antarctic region for their oil and for fur in the Siberian waters near Probilof Islands by the Russians, Japanese and Americans. Probilof Island belongs to USA .In 1988 the seal herd was 4 million costing 40 million dollars. The great fur market of the world is located at St. Louis.
Pelagic Fishing: Pelagic fish spend most of their time swimming at, on near the surface of water and include such species like Herring, Tuna, and Mackerel. One of the important habit of pelagic fish is their migration and therefore pelagic fishing is usually a seasonal activity. For example, herring move from North to South in the waters off the eastern coast of Britain, from summer till the end of autumn. Even farmers can adjust their farm work to the fishing season and many of them take to part time fishing. e.g. Norway.
Demersal Fishing: Demersal fish live near the seabed and included in this group are both quick moving fish, like the cod and the more passive flat fish such as flounder. The Crustaceans and Molluscs are generally considered separately, although the latter could be classified as either pelagic or demersal.
Molluscs: A multitude of shellfish like shrimps, prawns, lobsters, crabs and Molluscs are harvested by inshore fishermen. Shellfish are very popular and have a worldwide market. They are thus commercially very important and constitute as much as 10 per cent of the world's annual fish haul
Salt water fish: The most numerous of the salt-water type are the herrings quite common in Norway, Sweden Iceland, Japan and China. The Mackerel is another pelagic fish. They are found in the Mediterranean Sea, off southern Scandinavia and in the Yellow Sea.
Anchovies are also caught off Europe but most come from Peru where 90 per cent of its enormous catch is made up of these fish. Menhaden, a pelagic fish that moves in enormous shoals, was once almost ignored because the oily nature made it unsuitable for human consumption. It is now extensively fished off America from Newfoundland to the Caribbean Sea.
The USA is the leading menhaden catcher. This accounts about one-third of the total fish catch of USA. The most important of the demersal fish is the cod and in terms of value it is more important than herring. It lives near the bottom of shallow seas. it is found in the North Sea, off Norway and Iceland and on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Oil is extracted from cod.
The other demersal fish or white fish include Haddock (in North Atlantic), Halibut (off British Columbia), Flat fish, Sole and Flounders. The tuns or tunny is a large number of the mackerel family. It is caught off Japan and in the Indian Ocean and also in the Eastern Pacific. Apart from the flesh, which is canned, the liver is also highly priced because of its nutritional value.