Is ocean life nearing mass extinction as a direct result of humans? A startling new study has scientists worried that people’s activity might very well be destroying life in the water and outside of it, as over 500 species of land animals alone have gone extinct in the past five centuries. These figures do not consider how many sea creatures might also have been adversely affected in recent decades. According to Sport Act News this Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, experts behind the research fear that a sixth extinction of tremendous levels may be on the horizon if this alarming trend continues.
Long have people been warned to keep Earth and air clean, and scientists are hoping this 2015 that everyone truly listens to this message. According to the newly published study, it is believed that roughly 15 marine animals have gone extinct in the past 500 years. While this may seem inconsequential, experts are suggesting that this much lower number may only be because humans have been unable to wreak such havoc on the oceans as they have on land in the past decades.
Yet with the progress and development of industry in the seas taking more of a hold, ocean life may have some serious terrors to face in the coming years. The research itself has been published in Science Journal, and is causing quite a stir within the scientific community and the general public alike. Scoop News adds that experts from Stanford and other prestigious universities contend that if natural patterns of human activity continue on as they have, in less than 100 years we may see more and more species becoming extinct. The same dangers being posed to land animals may destroy those in the water thanks to technology and greater demand.
The origins of these mass extinction threats in the ocean likely date back to the Industrial Revolution. Scientists say that the incredible influx of mechanization put great strains on the environment and animal life, with some species being hunted to the brink of being obliterated. The increasing needs for more natural resources are similarly intertwined, as growing farmlands and factories resulted in the leveling of many trees. Pollution and related influences have slowly led to these creatures’ collapse as well.
In today’s contemporary period, such marine issues have only exacerbated to immense degrees. The industrialization of numerous trades, particularly fishing, has ocean life struggling. Pressures are laid down on our waters with supertrawlers being used in place of sailing ships that use vast tow lines over the ocean’s expanse. Human production has reduced the overall large fish population by a large percentage, while a combination of shrimp markets and mining machines damage the mangroves and seafloors, respectively.
“There’s a conundrum: How can the ocean be overexploited and yet the species are still there?” asserted study co-author Steve Palumbi, the Harold A. Miller Professor and Director of Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station. “The answer is that, especially in the ocean, there’s not just absolute extinction, but several types of partial extinctions, and that’s what we’re seeing now.”
Fears of mass extinction may be a number of years off, but scientists warn that humans may slowly be destroying such precious life if something is not changed — and soon. Open ocean aquaculture, robot fishing, and the use of wind and wave power outlets are all in high demand. Industrial need are putting significant strains on a supply, that while vast, is not limitless, says the study. With 500 land animals going extinct, we may eventually see considerable numbers of water animals dying out in the next century if we are not careful. Yet the article ends on a hopeful note, speaking of marine life recovery and hardiness still being very possible.
“Because there have been so many fewer extinctions in the oceans, we still have the raw ingredients needed for recovery,” noted lead author Douglas McCauley, an assistant professor in the University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. “There is a level of hope for marine species that simply does not exist for the hundreds of terrestrial wildlife species that have already crossed the extinction threshold.”