Overfishing, pollution, warming are destroying stocks, study finds.
If you like seafood - like I do - or if you simply like fishing, the outdoors, and the environment in general, it is disquieting to think that the vast majority of wild ocean species could be virtually gone.
If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, by 2050 the populations of just about all seafood face collapse, defined as 90 percent depletion, a team of ecologists and economists warns in a study published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.
There are serious consequenses to such an eradication of ocean species, beyond me not being able to eat some of my favorite foods. Including some scary economic and third-world nutrition impacts:
Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts’ environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said.
As the population of the world - especially in developing nations - is exploding, and the thought of the loss of food-supply and jobs in those areas could produce massive instability in those regions.
On the positive side, it looks as if such impacts can be avoided with proper, and efficient, management:
The researchers called for new marine reserves, better management to prevent overfishing by large trawling fleets and tighter controls on pollution.
In the 48 areas worldwide that have been protected to improve marine biodiversity, they found, “diversity of species recovered dramatically, and with it the ecosystem’s productivity and stability.”
This is the sort of issue that should not be ignored by developing nations. We must look for leaders with the political will to tackle such dire - yet preventable - consequenses.