Back in the 80's I caught an interview Larry King had with Ted Danson, who despite his best intentions hurt the environmental movement by declaring with a near fanatical look that the oceans would be dead in ten years. Danson brought up the killing of sharks, pollution, mega-sized factory ships overfishing, and other very real issues. I can't tell you how many times I have heard some conservative nut bring up that interview saying that its been way over ten years and the oceans are still there. Never the less. despite the snickers and the good old boys and girls slapping each other on the back reassuring each other all this is crazy liberal crap a very real problem does exist:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama could protect ocean wildlife and save jobs in commercial fisheries by ending widespread overfishing, environmental and economic leaders and scientists reported on Thursday.
About 70 percent of the world's fisheries are over-exploited or have already crashed, the report said. If this long-term trend continues, scientists have predicted that all current salt-water fish and seafood species will collapse by 2048.
Why is overfishing a problem
In the first chapter we discussed already that globally fishing fleets are at least two to three times as large as needed to take present day catches of fish and other marine species. To explain why overfishing is a problem we first have to get an idea on the scale of the problem. This is best done by looking at some figures published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 1 The FAO scientists publish a two yearly report (SOFIA) on the state of the world's fisheries and aquaculture. 2 The report is generally rather conservative regarding the acknowledging of problems but does show the main issues. In general it can be stated that the SOFIA report is a number of years behind time of the real situation.
- 52% of fish stocks are fully exploited
- 20% are moderately exploited
- 17% are overexploited
- 7% are depleted
- 1% is recovering from depletion
- We are losing species as well as entire ecosystems. As a result the overall ecological unity of our oceans are under stress and at risk of collapse.
- We are in risk of losing a valuable food source many depend upon for social, economical or dietary reasons.
My biggest fear is that we humans will continue this game of just increasing our efforts to make up for a ever declining global catch until at some point we go over a cliff Danson talked about and WE crash.
In the long run I'm not worried about the oceans because they will recover. It may take many many years but the biosphere will evolve and endure, its just we won't be here.
But I expect Mother Earth will cull another way us long before that happens.