Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Scientists Plumb the Depths to ask How Many Fish in the Sea - The Guardian

Did you see The Guardian yesterday? Holy shit. It caught my eye lying on a table while I was out because of the huge colour photo of a dragonfish on the front. Open up to pages 6 and 7 and there's a gorgeous colour spread of 12 photos displaying new found marine life. I was too excited to even read it for a good hour, haha. I may or may not have fished one out of the recycling to keep...

photo credit Dr. Julian Finn & The Museum of Victoria

The Census of Marine Life (CoML), a 10-year long study undertaken by over 360 scientists, was published on Monday. It estimates that there are over 230,000 species living in our oceans.

"The surveys have also highlighted major areas of concern for conservationists. "In every region, they've got the same story of a major collapse of what were usually very abundant fish stocks or crabs or crustaceans that are now only 5-10% of what they used to be," said Mark Costello of the Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland in New Zealand. "These are largely due to over-harvesting and poor management of those fisheries. That's probably the biggest and most consistent threat to marine biodiversity around the world.""

The great thing about this new abundance of information is that it will allow policy makers to make more informed decisions about where the best areas to protect will be.

"This inventory was urgently needed for two reasons," said Costello. "First, dwindling expertise in taxonomy impairs society's ability to discover and describe new species. And secondly, marine species have suffered major declines – in some cases 90% losses – because of human activities and may be heading for extinction, as happened to many species on land."

Exciting! I've been hearing about this for some time now...Glad it's finally here! I highly recommend everyone who reads this checks out these photos of some of the species discovered!!

Full article here (The Guardian)

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy this post. I clicked the link to see the pictures and was like "ohmygosh that would be so scary" and then i read how their only the size of a banana. but still, really cool :)