Oceans, the other disaster

One-third of the ocean’s seafood is gone.

“This century is the last century of wild seafood.”

There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue.

The journal Science reports that the global catch fell by 13% between 1994 and 2003. In 2003, 29% of open sea fisheries were in a state of collapse, defined as a decline to less than 10% of their original yield. [story]

On a more encouraging note, a quarter of the world’s oceans will be protected from fishing boats which drag heavy nets across the sea floor, South Pacific nations have agreed. The area extends from the Equator to the Antarctic and from Australia to the western coast of South America.

The landmark deal will restrict bottom trawling, which experts say destroys coral reefs and stirs up clouds of sediment that suffocate marine life. New Zealand is responsible for 90% of bottom trawling in the South Pacific.

“It can be done, it has been done, and it’s time for all countries to do the same in all other ocean regions.” [story]