Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The end of fish

The ones we like to eat are rapidly vanishing from the ocean.

 
People are getting more adventurous with how they eat, and when it comes to seafood, this means exhaustively looking to every exotic corner for the best, newest and tastiest fish. Also, the stuff is delicious. Seafood is a critical portion of more than 3 billion people’s diets. Already, 90 percent of U.S. seafood is imported.

This can’t last. The oceans are stretched, and certain fish species are approaching depletion. Leading scientists project that if we continue to fish this way, without allowing our oceans time to recover, our oceans could become virtual deserts by 2050. That’s just 36 years from now. Given that demand for seafood – along with the world’s population – is rising, don’t be surprised if this window closes even faster. Make your peace with fish, because it may not last much longer.

We’re not biologists and we’re not scientists, but in 2010 – aboard the TED Prize Mission Blue voyage to the Galapagos – we joined 100 of the world’s leading ocean scholars and advocates. The expedition, led by National Geographic explorer and that year’s TED Prize winner, Dr. Sylvia Earle, made us acutely aware of the overfishing crisis.

If this sounds alarmist, look at the data. The Census of Marine Life concluded in 2010 that 90 percent of the large fish are gone, primarily because of overfishing. This includes many of the fish we love to eat, like Atlantic salmon, tuna, halibut, swordfish, Atlantic cod. If we don’t allow for proper recovery, these fish risk total extinction.

For the rest of the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/03/the-end-of-fish/

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