Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hiatus for lobsters?

The Boston Globe is reporting today that a multistate commission will be deciding whether to implement  Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be recommending a five year ban on lobster fishing from south of Cape Cod to the southern edge of North Carolina.  The ban was recommended back in April by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.  Without such a ban, the commission says, the lobster population may go into permanent decline.

 It's not just lobsters (and those who make their living catching them) that are in trouble, though.  In 2006, the Science News Blog posted:  

Ocean Fish Depletion by 2048?

Reuters reports that a shocking study published in Science found that ocean life and seafood could be depleted by as early as 2048. The scientific data also indicates that marine biodiversity has already crashed by as much as 29% since 1960.
In an analysis of scientific data going back to the 1960s and historical records over a thousand years, the researchers found that marine biodiversity -- the variety of ocean fish, shellfish, birds, plants and micro-organisms -- has declined dramatically, with 29 percent of species already in collapse.

Extending this pattern into the future, the scientists calculated that by 2048 all species would be in collapse, which the researchers defined as having catches decline 90 percent from the maximum catch.

This applies to all species, from mussels and clams to tuna and swordfish, said Boris Worm, lead author of the study, which was published in the current edition of the journal Science.

Ocean mammals, including seals, killer whales and dolphins, are also affected.

"Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world's ocean, we saw the same picture emerging," Worm said in a statement. "In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected."
If you're a member of Costco, you should know that Costco sells "Red List" fish-- those fish species which are already at the depleted levels from which they can't recover.  There's a campaign to get Costco to stop this practice and to correctly label their fish so consumers know what they're getting and from where.   There's a petition top right-hand corner to ask Costco to use its massive buying power to leverage positive change in our oceans.  Please sign.

No comments: