I’ve been taking in a wide variety of stories about what humans are doing (most of it bad) to the oceans. Here are some of the concerns I’m reading about:
- Plastic waste, especially floating plastic waste, now accumulates in vast mid-ocean gyres. Plastic waste has a wide variety of unpleasant effects on marine habitat and wildlife.
- The Bluefin tuna is being hunted to extinction. Scientists call urgently for fishing quotas, but these are a challenge to establish, implement and enforce.
- Sharks in general are being wiped out, pretty much globally.
- Industrial ocean trawling, and especially bottom trawling (dragging nets along the ocean floor and scooping up whatever lives there), is said to be stupendously destructive to marine environment and populations. One commentator compared it to hunting rabbits with a bulldozer.
- The stunning collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery is a cautionary tale. Some experts say we should expect global collapse of the fish stocks we hunt, within the next 30 to 50 years.
As usual, it’s difficult to know what to believe about the present, never mind the future; these are matters for experts. If you want to get a general idea of the pessimistic treehugger view, watch Sea The Truth for an hour: