Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So long and thanx for all the fish

Last week I posted a BBC story which outlined the looming extinction of bluefin tuna and referred to another BBC story about a study predicting global collapse of fish stocks around the world.

The original study, Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services, is worth reading if you can.

If you can't make your way through to it then this New York Times story gives a good precis and even includes this handy little graphic just to nail the point home. The story says that:
The report is one of many in recent years to identify severe environmental degradation in the world’s oceans and to predict catastrophic loss of fish species. But experts said it was unusual in its vision of widespread fishery collapse so close at hand.

The researchers drew their conclusion after analyzing dozens of studies, along with fishing data collected by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and other sources. They acknowledge that much of what they are reporting amounts to correlation, rather than proven cause and effect. And the F.A.O. data have come under criticism from researchers who doubt the reliability of some nations’ reporting practices, Dr. Worm said.

Still, he said in an interview, “there is not a piece of evidence” that contradicts the dire conclusions.
Given this industry is our largest employer, we need to be proactive and prepared for this eventuality rather than just hoping the outports will be empty by then or counting on being able to reverse the trends.

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