Thursday, October 1, 2015
Victoria's Green Matters - 1st October 2015
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London have found that numbers of tuna, mackerel and bonito have fallen by 74% between 1970 and 2012, much more than the 49% for other ocean species over the same time.
This is catastrophic as our food sources are being destroyed along with the ecology of our oceans. Most focus has been on blue fin tuna, which is now on the verge of extinction, but other close relatives that are commonly found on restaurant menus or in tins such as yellow fin tuna and albacore, are becoming increasingly rare. The incidence of other species such as sea cucumber, a luxury food in Asia, has fallen by 98% in the Galapagos.
While over fishing is the obvious culprit, it is not the only one. Pollution, including plastic which contaminates the digestive system of fish; climate change, causing oceans to become more acidic because of the carbon dioxide that is being pumped into the atmosphere and the loss of key habitats all contribute to the decline of species. Overfishing is a global problem. The Pacific is of particular concern as Chinese, Japanese and Korean fleets take the most fish.
There are choices we must make and make urgently – to halt climate change and overfishing.