Friday, November 03, 2006

No more fish in the sea by 2050

In about 50 years time, there will be no more fish in the sea. This grim statement was made by an international team of researchers from Europe and the Americas. They say overfishing and the loss of marine biodiversity due to pollution (for example) has led to the drastic fish decline and if left unchecked, it will lead to the disappearance of all fish in the sea. From BBC:
The way we use the oceans is that we hope and assume there will always be another species to exploit after we've completely gone through the last one," said research leader Boris Worm, from Dalhousie University in Canada.

"What we're highlighting is there is a finite number of stocks; we have gone through one-third, and we are going to get through the rest," he told the BBC News website.

Steve Palumbi, from Stanford University in California, one of the other scientists on the project, added: "Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the ocean species together, as working ecosystems, then this century is the last century of wild seafood."
As someone who has a deep appreciation and love for the sea, I'm very distraught at this piece of news. Most of the time when we come across news that tell us of global warming or some other impending doom for our planet, we do not take them seriously because we always think that the final effects are so far ahead in the future. Most of us don't really care. But this is different. 50 years isn't a long time. Most of us would still be alive when that day comes.

There's an urgent need to protect more ecosystems and keep a check on overfishing. Less than 1% of the ocean is protected right now. 1%, that's pathetic isn't it? If we protect more of the ocean, biodiversity will increase and so will fish stocks. The fishing industry also needs to adopt fishing methods that will minimise damage to marine wildlife and habitats. It isn't too late if the world works together. Remember, 50 years. That's all it takes if we don't.

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