Lifeless Bodies of Sea
by THuang on November 6, 2015 - 10:28pm
In the article "'Only 50 Years Left' for Sea Fish" by Richard Black, the author argues that fish are over-exploited . He makes reference to a scientific study stating that in half a century, there will be no more fish in seas if the current pattern is continuous (the pattern being the rate of decline in sea fisheries accelerating rapidly). According to Boris Worm, a researcher from Canada's Dalhousie University, we exploit species of fish until there is no more, assuming that there will be other species to exploit. The researcher states that fish is a limited resource and that we will have exploited the remaining two-thirds of fish. The author quotes Steve Palumbi, a scientist from Stanford University, saying that if we don't change our management of the ocean, then "this century [will be] the last century of wild seafood" (Black, 2006). The author claims that no bigger ships nor bigger nets nor better technology has brought larger amount of fish; there was a decline of global catch of 13% from 1994 to 2003. Australia, North America and Europe's coastal zones' historical records has shown decline in fish stocks and in diversity of species. Those stocks have not only declined for fish, but for other seafood also. The zones where biodiversity is lost results in closure of beaches, flooding of coastal zones and growth of harmful algae. The author also states that protected sea areas restores the biodiversity in those areas and the population of fish outside those areas. Referring to Dr Worm, he explains that if the population of one specie from the low part of the food chain is reduced, then the ones from the upper food chain is also affected and that menaces the whole stability of the structure. Species in sea are more strongly attached to each other than species on land. Also, the author references the head, at IUCN (World Conservation Union), of the marine programme Carl Gustaf Lundin about the fact that there is not only the issue of the need to protect oceans. He explains that there must be a good management for marine parks and fisheries and that fishing doesn't ruin the ecosystem, but bottom trawling does. Scientists state that banning fisheries could be a solution to halt the accelerating decline of fish stocks.
This article was very informative about this problematic issue. I've heard of pandas and rhinoceros being on the brink of extinction, but I never knew that fish (of what I thought the population was abundant) were also going to be on the brink of extinction too if we continue with large catching of fish. Governments rarely (most probably never) discussed about this issue and I think that this is a big problem. People, those who eat fish and others who do not, have no clue with what is going on in the ocean which is also an important factor for the stability of the Earth's temperature. Vegetarians refuse to eat meat because of their harsh exploitations and some of those vegetarians eat fish instead. One of those reasons is because it is abundant. Unfortunately, it is not the case anymore due to the over-exploitation of fish. Governments should ban bottom trawling and protect more areas of the ocean to let the fish to reproduce and so to restore the fish population and biodiversity. This would ensure that creatures higher up the food chain such as sea birds wouldn't be affected.
Black, R. (2006, November 2). 'Only 50 Years Left' for Sea Fish. Retrieved from