Teach a Man to Fish, and … Oh, Never Mind
Populations of edible marine species may collapse entirely by mid-century, says study
Thank god it’s Friday, but thank god even more it’s not 2048, when all edible ocean life may be sunk. According to a study in Science, 29 percent of commercially edible fish and shellfish populations have collapsed already, thanks to overfishing, development, pollution, and global warming. “Our children will see a world without seafood if we don’t change things,” says lead author Boris Worm. (Worm!) But losing Long John Silver’s is the least of our worries: loss of biodiversity “sabotages the stability” of marine environments, says the study, leading to increased coastal flooding, reduced water quality, and beach closures. In response to the study, the U.S. National Fisheries Institute, an industry trade association, said more than 80 percent of fish stocks remain sustainable and aquaculture can fill the gaps. And really, who are you gonna believe: them, or a group of researchers who spent four years studying all available data on fish populations and ocean ecosystems?
Get Grist in your inbox