Predators Starve As Humans Plunder Oceans
"Marine giants go hungry as fleets scoop up their prey for our fish suppers."
April 19, 2009.
For the past 20 years, as reported by Look Magazine in 1991 and Mother Jones News in 2008, human beings kill 100 million sharks every year, primarily for their fins, and toss their lingering carcasses back into the oceans. Humans slaughter millions of seals, whales, dolphins and other mammals in drift nets cut away from ships to continue killing on the ocean floor.
But now, according to Leans, "Starving sea life - from whales to puffins, tuna to seals" - is being found all over the world's oceans, as the food on which it depends is being fished out, startling new evidence shows. And much of the depletion, ironically, is caused by raising captive fish - for the table.
"New figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization show that the small fish on which birds and marine mammals feed have become the main target of fishing fleets since stocks of bigger fish have become exhausted. Four times as much of these 'prey fish' are now brought to shore as half a century ago, and seven of the world's largest 10 fisheries now go after them."
Not mentioned in the report, humans dump billions of plastic containers into the oceans. One thousand miles off San Francisco, a three million ton floating patch of plastic, called, "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch" swirls around in an area twice the size of Texas. Those containers, including, Styrofoam, stick in the stomachs of birds, whales, turtles, dolphins and other marine life - to kill by the millions. The problem remains: the death of those marine animals assures that the plastics will be recycled for more death and destruction of life in endless cycles.
"More than four-fifths of this catch does not go directly to feed people, but is ground up into fish oil and fish meal and increasingly used to raise carnivorous species such as salmon in fish farms," Leans said. "A captive fish needs up to one pound of food to put on a single pound in weight. And, as a result, there is less and less left for its natural predators."
"We have caught most of the big fish and are now going after their food," says Margot Stiles, a marine scientist for Oceana, the leading international sea protection pressure group."
Additionally, sea life suffers from toxic dead zones at the mouths of major rivers from India, U.S., China, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Europe. Humanity spits its thousands of chemicals into those rivers in the form of insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Those dead zones range from 10,000 square miles at the mouth of the Mississippi to 27,000 square miles in the North Sea. Very few vertebrates can live in those toxic waters. Our oceans have become the final toilet for human waste.
"A new report by the group, Hungry Oceans, describes how "scrawny predators - dolphins, sea bass and even whales - have turned up on coastlines all over the world," adding that scientists are finding them and seabirds "emaciated from lack of food, vulnerable to disease and without enough energy to reproduce," said Leans.
Not mentioned in the report, humans discard billions upon billions of pieces of glass, metal, chemical and plastic waste that rolls around the ocean floor like a child's messy playroom. In this case, it destroys habitat for all marine creatures.
With another added three billion humans in the next 41 years, does any marine life or land life on earth stand a chance of surviving the 21st century?
By Frosty Wooldridge
Based on original article here: Predators starve as we plunder the oceans