BBC – There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study. ocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating.
Writing in the journal Science, the international team of researchers says fishery decline is closely tied to a broader loss of marine biodiversity. But a greater use of protected areas could safeguard existing stocks. . .
Steve Palumbi, from Stanford University in California, one of the other scientists on the project, added: “Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the ocean species together, as working ecosystems, then this century is the last century of wild seafood.”. . .
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. Bigger vessels, better nets, and new technology for spotting fish are not bringing the world’s fleets bigger returns – in fact, the global catch fell by 13% between 1994 and 2003.
Historical records from coastal zones in North America, Europe and Australia also show declining yields, in step with declining species diversity; these are yields not just of fish, but of other kinds of seafood too.