Ocean Fish Numbers Cut In Half Since 1970

2016-06-26T11:38:19+00:00 September 16, 2015|
A school of fish at the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.

(Click to enlarge image) A school of fish at the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.

The amount of fish in the oceans has plunged to the “brink of collapse” caused by over-fishing and other threats, the WWF conservation group said.

(From The Scientific American / by Alister Doyle) — The amount of fish in the oceans has halved since 1970, in a plunge to the “brink of collapse” caused by over-fishing and other threats, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday. Populations of some commercial fish stocks, such as a group including tuna, mackerel and bonito, had fallen by almost 75 percent, according to a study by the WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, told Reuters mismanagement was pushing “the ocean to the brink of collapse”. “There is a massive, massive decrease in species which are critical”, both for the ocean ecosystem and food security for billions of people, he said. “The ocean is resilient but there is a limit.”

The report said populations of fish, marine mammals, birds and reptiles had fallen 49 percent between 1970 and 2012. For fish alone, the decline was 50 percent. The analysis said it tracked 5,829 populations of 1,234 species, such as seals, turtles and dolphins and sharks. It said the ZSL data sets were almost twice as large as past studies.

Read the full article here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-fish-numbers-cut-in-half-since-1970/