There is an emergency going on in the world’s oceans that most of us know nothing about: as certain species of fish that are overfished or stressed due to pollution or changes in water temperature become drastically reduced in number, this changes the whole balance of the ocean ecosystem, causing more species to go extinct, etc. Since many societies in the world rely on fish to eat, this is a disaster in the making.
An international group of ecologists and economists say that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean’s ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants, and rebound from stresses such as over fishing and climate change. Researcher Boris Worm says, “Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world?s ocean, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are?beyond anything we suspected.”
This new study reveals global trends that are the same as the ones scientists have observed on a smaller scale, when they investigated fish shortages in certain specific areas.
Researcher Callum Roberts says, “This study shows, the animals and plants that inhabit the sea are not merely embellishments to be wondered at. They are essential to the health of the oceans and the well-being of human society.”
Researcher Steve Palumbi warns, “Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the oceans species together, as working ecosystems, then this century is the last century of wild seafood.”
According to researcher Nicola Beaumont, “This isn’t [something that is] predicted to happen, this is happening now.”
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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