Friday, November 03, 2006
If you like your sushi, you may be able to savor each bite for just a few more decades. The fish that we currently eat could be fished out by 2050, a new study published in the journal Science concludes. With each species that we fish nearly to extinction, the ecosystem deteriorates, the scientists found.
"Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the oceans species together, as working ecosystems, then this century is the last century of wild seafood," said co-author Steve Palumbi of Stanford University in an article published by the National Science Foundation.
The four-year study is the most comprehensive yet, the article states, including historical, observational, and experimental data. It also supports what scientists observed on a smaller scale.
The less biodiversity, the less resistant the ecosystem is to other stresses. If we protect our ocean ecosystems, however, we could extend the estimated drop-dead date. Even though we seem to be sending ocean environments into a downward spiral, the more species we protect, the healthier the ecosystem will be.