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New research has led to the shocking discovery that half of the world’s marine life has been killed off since 1970. Some of the greatest declines were in fish types critical to human consumption, the World Wildlife Fund (wwf) warned in a report released on September 15.
The major cause of this potentially catastrophic drop in marine species is overfishing. Marco Lambertini, director general of wwf International, said, “In the space of a single generation, human activity has severely damaged the ocean by catching fish faster than they can reproduce.”
Coral reef, mangroves and sea grasses are in dramatic decline due to pollution, overexploitation and recreation. French biologist Gilles Boeuf, commenting on the report, pointed out the seriousness of this: “Coral reefs occupy less than 1 percent of the ocean surface, but they harbor a third of ocean species.” This loss of habitation has been catastrophic for fish populations.
Some marine organisms have been hit harder than others. The family of fish that includes tuna and mackerel has declined 74 percent since 1970. A quarter of shark and ray species face extinction. Four shark species in the Mediterranean have not been spotted in 30 years.
Full article: Half of Marine Life Has Died Since 1970 (The Trumpet)