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Marine Population Halved in 40 Years -Report

Posted by feww on September 16, 2015

Humans catching fish faster than they can reproduce, while also destroying their nurseries —WWF

Population sizes of vertebrate species—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years, says a new report.

These findings coincide with the growing decline of marine habitats, where the deforestation rate of mangroves exceeds even the loss of forests by 3-5 times…; and almost one-third of all seagrasses have been lost.

The study has highlighted the following factors in the population decline:

  • Overfishing
  • Decline of habitats/ destruction of nurseries
  • Climate change
  • Ocean acidification due to excessive absorption of carbon dioxide

“Human activity has severely damaged the ocean by catching fish faster than they can reproduce while also destroying their nurseries,” said head of WWF International.

The report authors have analyzed 5,829 populations of 1,200 species of marine creatures since 1970.

Populations of some commercial fish stocks including tuna, mackerel and bonito, have declined by  almost three-quarters (74%).

“An index for Scrombidae, based on data from 58 populations of 17 species, shows a decline of 74 per cent between 1970 and 2010. While the most rapid decline is between 1976 and 1990, there is currently no sign of overall recovery at a global level,” said the report.

Some deep-sea fish populations in the North Atlantic have also declined by 72 percent over the last 40 years.

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