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date:
title:
author:
coments:
21.3.11
just stupid
Andy Griffins
great reading antony!
22.3.11
don't worry nana i'll drive
Katty Colums
Excellent
23.3.11
mummy never told me
Babette Cole
Very focused :)

























World'sFish Supply is running out! By:Antony(Allwood)

An international group of ecologists and economistswarned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steepdeclines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four yearstudy of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses.

The paper,published in the journal Science, concludes that overfishing, pollution andother environmental factors are wiping out important species around the globe,hampering the ocean's ability to produce seafood, filter nutrients and resistthe spread of disease.

"Wereally see the end of the line now," said lead author Boris Worm, a marinebiologist at Canada's Dalhousie University. "It's within our lifetime. Ourchildren will see a world without seafood if we don't change things."

The 14researchers from Canada, Panama, Sweden, Britain and the United States spentfour years analyzing fish populations, catch records and ocean ecosystems toreach their conclusion. They found that by 2003 -- the last year for which dataon global commercial fish catches are available -- 29 percent of all fishedspecies had collapsed, meaning they are now at least 90 percent below theirhistoric maximum catch levels.


The rate ofpopulation collapses has accelerated in recent years. As of 1980, just 13.5percent of fished species had collapsed, even though fishing vessels werepursuing 1,736 fewer species then. Today, the fishing industry harvests 7,784species commercially.

"It'slike hitting the gas pedal and holding it down at a constant level," Wormsaid in a telephone interview. "The rate accelerates over time."

Some Americanfishery management officials, industry representatives and academics questionedthe team's dire predictions, however, saying countries such as the UnitedStates and New Zealand have taken steps in recent years to halt the depletionof their commercial fisheries.

"Theprojection is way too pessimistic, at least for the United States," saidSteven Murawski, chief scientist for the National Marine Fisheries Service,which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."We've got the message. We will continue to reverse this trend."

The NationalFisheries Institute, a trade group representing seafood producers as well assuppliers, restaurants and grocery chains, said in a statement that most wildmarine stocks remain sustainable.

The group'sspokeswoman, Stacey Viera, added that because the global demand for seafood hasalready outstripped the amount of wild fish available in the sea, her group'smembers are meeting the need in part by relying on farmed fish. "To meetthe gap between what wild capture can provide sustainably and the growingdemand for seafood, aquaculture is filling that need," she said.

But severalscientists challenged that prediction and questioned why humanity should payfor a resource that the ocean had long provided for free. "It's liketurning on the air conditioning rather than opening the window," saidStanford University marine sciences professor Stephen R. Palumbi, one of thepaper's authors.

Oregon StateUniversity marine biologist Jane Lubchenco said the study makes clear that fishstocks are in trouble, even though consumers appear to have a cornucopia ofseafood choices.


"I thinkpeople don't get it," Lubchenco
said."They think, 'If there is a problem with the oceans, how come the case inmy grocery store is so full?' There is a disconnect."

The possiblecollapse of commercial fisheries could have a serious on the global economy,said Gerald Leape, vice president for the advocacy group National EnvironmentalTrust. The industry generates $80 billion a year, Leape said, and more than 200million people depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their main sourceof income. Worldwide, a billion people eat seafood as their main source ofanimal protein.

"Thisshould be a wake-up call to our leaders, both internationally and domestically,that they need to protect our fish stocks. Otherwise they will go away,"Leape said.

In order toreach their conclusions, the paper's authors looked at nearly three dozencontrolled experiments and crunched the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization'sworldwide catch data going back to 1950. In some cases, they also surveyedecosystem records -- including sediment cores and archival data -- going back athousand years.

Theresearchers said the loss of so many species is eroding the viability of marineecosystems and their ability to resist environmental stresses. In 12 marineecosystems surveyed, they found that a decline in biodiversity of 50 percent ormore cut the number of viable fisheries by 33 percent, reduced nursery habitatsby 69 percent and cut the ocean's capacity to filter and detoxify contaminantsby 63 percent.


Thisphenomenon is apparent in the Chesapeake Bay, where the collapse of the oysterfishery has reverberated across the ecosystem. In 1880, there were enoughoysters to filter all the water in the bay in three days; by 1988, it took morethan a year for the remaining oysters to accomplish the same task.

HunterLenihan, a marine ecology professor at the University of California at SantaBarbara, said the mass dredging of oysters from the bay over the past centuryhas transformed its ecosystem.

As the oystersdeclined, the water became more cloudy, and sea grass beds, which are dependenton light, died off and were replaced by phytoplankton that does not support thesame range of species.

"When youremoved the oysters through overfishing, that's when you begin to see a rapiddecline in water quality," Lenihan said. "What it's done is changethe entire production of the bay."

But Universityof Washington fisheries professor Ray Hilborn said ascribing a decline infisheries production to loss of biodiversity was a bit like deciding which camefirst, the chicken or the egg.

"Do moreproductive systems lead to more diversity, or is it more diversity leads tomore productivity?" Hilborn asked.

Yesterday'sreport suggests it is possible to resolve this puzzle. The researchers analyzednearly 50 areas where restrictions had been imposed to stop overfishing andfound that, on average, the range of species in the water increased by 23percent within five years. That provides reason for optimism, Worm said,because it means sound management can halt the decline of fish stocksworldwide.

"It's nottoo late to turn this around," he said. "It can be done, but it hasto be done soon."

Marineadvocates, such as chief scientist Michael Hirschfield of Oceana, said theyhope the report would spur countries to reassess their practice of providingroughly $20 billion a year in subsidies for harmful fishing practices.

"Thesingle biggest thing we can do to address this is to eliminate subsidies,"said Hirschfield, adding that European Union countries alone account for 10percent of these subsidies.