Why major fishing grounds of the world are found in temperate regions

Why major fishing grounds of the world are located in temperate regions




Why major fishing grounds of the world are found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere:

  • Most of the coastlines are irregular hence favoring fish breeding.
  • There are large/more landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere than the south.
  • Continental shelves in this region are wide and shallow that favour the growth of planktons.
  • The cool climate experienced in the region favours fishing activities.
  • The regions are washed by many cold oceans currents that favour the existence of planktons/ fish.
  • There are many rivers that pour their water in the oceans thus providing nutrients for planktons




Pacific Fishing Grounds

This is further divided into

North West Pacific Fishing Ground

This is the largest fishing ground in the world.

It is located off the coast of North-East Asia extending from Barring Sea through the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea up to the East China Sea through the following countries; Japan,China, Malaysia, Indonesia, North & South Korea and Eastern Coasts of Russia




The major fish species caught in these grounds are salmon, tuna, bonito, mackerel,sardine, cod, Pollack.

Fishing is highly developed along this ground because of the following reasons:-

  • Broad, shallow and extensive continental shelf that favours the growth of planktons
  • Convergence of the cold Oyasiwo and warm Kurosiwo currents that makes the coast ice free allowing fishing all year round (warm Kurosiwo), provides ideal conditions for plankton growth (cold Oyasiwo)
  • Dense population in the Asian countries that lie astride the fishing ground e.g. Japan and China provide labour and ready market for the fish.
  • Indented North East Asian coastline with numerous islands, bays and sheltered inlets that favour fish breeding and development of fishing ports.




  • Advanced technology especially in Japan has encouraged the development of fishing and facilitated transport of fish e.g. through ship building and refrigeration of ships.
  • Limited agricultural potential especially in Japan and Eastern Russia with rugged landscape that discourages agricultural development; leaving fishing as alternative source of food.

North East Pacific Fishing Ground

This is located along the western shores of North America, stretching about 1200km from the Alaskan coast (USA) southwards through British Columbia (Canada) to the Californian Coast (USA) through Washington DC and Oregon states.




Fishing is also done along the major rivers in this region (mention some)

The main fish species caught in this ground are salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, Pollack, and Alaska.

Others include crabs, shrimps, oysters, and prawns

Factors favouring fishing in this ground include:

  • Indented coastlines with many fiords, rias and river estuaries that offer good sites for fish breeding and development of fish ports.
  • Cool waters as a result of high latitudinal location that favour plankton growth.




  • Convergence of the cold Californian and the warm Labrador currents along the segrounds lead to cool temperatures that favour plankton growth
  • These grounds are free from ice all year round since the cold temperatures are moderated by the warm Labrador Current flowing into the area. This ensures fishing throughout the year.
  • Advanced fishing technology that has provided modern fishing equipment and preservation facilities.

African Fishing Grounds

– Africa is not a major exporter and producer of fish and fish products despite having numerous rivers, lakes and being surrounded by seas and oceans. This is because: –




  • Ocean waters are warm/coasts washed by warm ocean currents that limit plankton growth (give example)
  • The coastlines are straight/regular thus discourages fish breeding and development of fishing ports. (expose with an example – Indian Ocean coastline).
  • Ocean waters are shallow due to growth of corals/coral reefs
  • The continental shelves are narrow.

Fishing grounds in South Atlantic Ocean

There are minor fishing grounds along the Atlantic coast that are found in the southern hemisphere.

They include: –




South West African/Namibian Coast

covers the coast of Namibia and Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa. It is rich in fish because it is washed by the cold Benguela current; which results in the upwelling of water hence rich in planktons.

Mauritanian Coast

this is found in the northwest African Coast. It is rich in fish since it has a wide and shallow continental shelf and the presence of the cold Canary current that allows plankton growth.

West Coast of South America




this covers the coast of Peru in South America. It is rich in fish because of the cold Peruvian current and the wide and shallow continental shelf.

North East Atlantic Fishing Ground

This is located in the north western part of Europe.

It passes through France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Portugal.

It is the leading fish exporting region in the world.




The main fish species caught here are cod, herring and mackerel.
The main fishing methods employed along these grounds are trawling, drifting and line fishing

Factors that favours fishing in the North East Atlantic fishing ground

  • High latitude ranging from temperate to polar regions; experiencing cold temperatures that encourage growth of plankton, survival and preservation of fish.
  • Broad and shallow continental shelf that favours the growth of planktons.
  • Indented coastline in Britain, Norway and Ireland with narrow fiords that provide sheltered waters for development of fishing ports and breeding of fish.
  • Mountainous landscape especially in Norway does not favour agriculture making fishing the most appropriate alternative economic activity.




  • The ground is washed by the warm Atlantic Drift Current that raises the temperatures and making it ice free thus fishing all year round.
  • Dense population in the Western Europe provide ready market for the fish.
  • Advanced/high technology has enabled development of modern fishing equipment and preservation/processing facilities

Atlantic Fishing Grounds

These are found in the Atlantic ocean

This is further divided into

North West Atlantic Fishing Ground




This is located in the northeastern coasts of North America from the eastern coasts of Canada to New England in the USA through the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

The main fish species caught here include cod, herring, haddock, mackerel, and lobster.

The fishing methods used here include seining, trawling and drifting

Factors that have favored the development of North West Atlantic Fishing Ground




  • Broad and shallow continental shelf leading to flourishing of fish as it provides ideal conditions for plankton growth.
  • Convergence of the cold Labrador and the warm Gulf Stream currents at these grounds leads to cool temperatures for plankton growth and making it free from ice; allowing fishing to be conducted throughout the year.
  • Dense population especially in the USA provides ready market for the fish.
  • Rugged landscape and cold climate in the immediate hinterland discourage agriculture leaving fishing as an alternative economic activity.
  • Advanced technology e.g. highly developed ship building and fishing industries equipped with modern preserva

Types of Fish

Fish can be classified according to habitat into freshwater fish and saline/salty/marine water fish.




Freshwater fish are those fish species that live in fresh inland waters – lakes, rivers & ponds/dams.

They include tilapia, trout, Nile perch, pike, eel, carp, sturgeon, dagaa, etc. Marine/salty water fish are those that live their entire lives in saline fisheries such as the ocean and seas.

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