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Chapter 6 - Class #24

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Brock University
Caroline Starrs

Class #24▯ ▯ Science & Society November. 2, 2011 Emptying the Oceans - We are placing unprecedented pressure on marine resources - Half the world’s marine fish populations are fully exploited - 25% of fish population are overexploited and heading to extinction - 2006 study in Science - Predicted that populations of all ocean species we fish for today will collapse by the year 2048 Fishing Practices kill non target animals and damage ecosystems - By-catch = the accidental capture of animals - Drift-netting drowns dolphins, turtles, and seals - Banned or restricted by many nations - Longline fishing kills turtles, sharks and albatrosses - 300,000 seabirds die each year - Bottom-trawling destroys communities - Likened to clear-cutting and strip mining We are “fishing down the food chain” - Figures on total global catch do not relate the species, age, and size of fish harvested - As fishing increases, the size and age of fish caught decline - 10-year-old cod, once common, are now rare - As species become too rare to fish, fleets target other species - Shifting from large, desirable species to smaller, less desirable ones - Reduction in larger predator fish simplify trophic feeding relationships - Salmon fisheries in BC now in severe decline - 2009 numbers indicate a 90% reduction if the Frazer River Salmon catch - Worldwide, single species catches are also experiencing declines - Future predictions envisage a world of jellyfish and other lower t
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