Continuing the [Location Factor] articles series for UPSC General Studies paper 1.
Why is commercial fishing developed in middle to higher latitudes of Northern hemisphere?
- Fishes eat plankton.
- Phytoplankton require sunlight = they can develop well in continental shelves and shallow seas because of Sunlight penetration and minerals from coastal water.
- Planktons reproduce more in cooler waters
Observe the following map: yellow areas= continental shelf/ shallow areas=better for fishing.
Observe the indented coastlines in N.America and Europe.
Locate South China Sea. You can understand one of the reasons why China and neighbours keep fighting over it=rich-fish resources.
|warm||cold||fishermen of ____ benefit|
|gulf stream||labrador||US+ Canada (North Western Atlantic coast)|
Location Factor: Fishing Equipment
In the medieval times, temperate forests provided following
- Both soft and hard wood for construction of fishing boats.
- Naval stores (Raisin, pitch, tar and turpentine). They are derived from resinous materials from coniferous trees, were used to make wooden vessels watertight.
Today, commercial fishing vessels don’t need any of above, but steel and heavy engineering industry also developed in surround the coastal regions (e.g. Great lakes-Pittsburg) =shipbuilding industry.
Location Factor: Fishing Market
- In the mountainous regions of Asia and Europe, agricultural production is quite low =Fish important source of protein. Example Japan and Norway.
- Asia= fish + rice= main diet of many were Asian countries. (because Fish is cheaper than meat)
- When Europeans started migrating to North America, most of the early urban settlements were on or near the Eastern coast = ready market for selling fish products.
- During weekly fast of Catholics, fish must be eaten instead of meat.
- Before electricity/petroleum, whale oil was the chief source of fuel and lubricant.
- in developed countries, fishes even used as animal food, fertilizers
- Medical uses of cod liver oil, demand for fur products (walrus, seals) and so on.
- Fish gutting = significant weight loss. Hence fish processing is either done on the vessel or near the coastal plants.
|Coastline||Highly indented coastline provides many sites for harbors and ports.|
|Labour||hilly terrain = less cultivable areas.Cold long winters= not good for agriculture= more people switch to fishing. Eg. Iceland, Japan, Norway.|
Fishing regions across the world
|location||prominent fishing area|
Within Northern Hemisphere, Commercial fishing is more developed in North Europe and North America, compared to Asia (Except Japan), why?
- Northern Hemisphere= more land than Southern Hemisphere=large population = fish demand is large.
- In Southern hemisphere nations such as Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, meat and dairy products are plenty =not much demand for fishes.
- Continental shelves are narrower than Europe, North America=less plankton=less fish
Let’s check two leading fishing nations:
India: east vs. West
In India, fishing is more developed along western coast than in Eastern coast because
- continental shelf in Western Coast=wider=more plankton = more fishes
- Commercial varieties like Prawns and Mackerel are mostly confined along western coast.
Other than that, these books don’t contain much wisdom on “Location factor” for Indian fisheries (just list of species found, fisherman use outdated equipment, problem of overfishing etc.)
In the next article, we’ll see the location factors for industries based on natural fibers (Cotton, silk, wool and jute)
Explain reasons for following (5 marks each)
- Canada is a leading manufacturer of newsprint
- Malaysia and Philippines are leading exporters of tropical hardwood
- Commercial fishing and lumbering better developed in the higher latitudes of Northern Hemisphere compared to other parts of the world. Comment.
- Factors responsible for overwhelming use of hardwood for fuels vs. industrial use of softwood.
- Provide the distribution of paper-pulp industry for any one country and explain the locational advantages for this distribution?
- To what extend has proximity to water transport or rail communication influenced timber exploitation? Explain with examples from India and any one foreign country.
- Explain the factors responsible for the thriving fish-industry in any one of the following countries
- Explain the parts played by each of the following factors, in the development of Lumbering industry
- hydro electricity
- frozen ground
- technological changes