Ocean life is on the brink of mass extinction from the patterns of human activity that have been going on for a century or so, according to a new study. With the world’s oceans taking up three quarters of its mass this may seem almost impossible to fathom, but it is a very possible outcome say scientists.
A new study published in the journal Science, reports that a group of Stanford colleagues believe mass extinction in the world’s oceans is looming, according to Sports Act on Jan. 17. The new study makes a very convincing case as humans continue to strip the oceans of the world for resources.
The world has seen this mass extinction with land animals since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Species are deemed extinct as their habitats are invaded, they are over-hunted and their food supplies have dwindled. The same thing is happening to species in the vast underwater world on Earth.
Today the satellite guided super trawlers stretch their nets across hundreds of miles across the ocean for their catch of the day. The over-exploitation of fisheries “has culled out large fish, such as tuna by 90 percent.”
The gold mining under the sea is done with 300-ton machines that are ripping up the ocean’s floors looking for the lion’s share of the precious metal. All of this activity has slowly taken its toll on the world’s oceans and their inhabitants.
According to Jobs & Hire today, ” in the past 5 centuries, scientists have noted 15 ocean species that had gone extinct as a result of human activities.” A new study out of the University of California-Santa Barbara indicates that several marine life species today are heading toward extinction. There are levels of extinctions that marine biologists monitor in the oceans of the world.
One type of extinction is where one species will disappear from a certain area, but it will exist elsewhere. Then there is commercial extinction where there is not enough of a species to fish without eventually wiping out the species.
This type of extinction was seen with the grey whale population off Baja in 1899. There wasn’t enough to support the whaling ships that came to the area for whaling.
Another type is ecological extinction where the species is still present, but it cannot play its ecological role due to being over-exploited. This might be the most damaging of all the levels of extinction.
Ecological extinction was seen when the sea otters were hunted to the point that they didn’t have the numbers needed to keep the kelp forests healthy and growing on the West Coast.
As the world population grows and more and more people go to the sea for its resources, these problems grow. The industrial uses of the sea are growing in number around the world and these problems also grow in size. With the once isolated extinctions becoming more wide-spread this could lead to the mass extinction of life in the oceans. Can life in the world’s oceans be saved?
Tampa Bay Times reports that Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, does see a way to turn this around. “There is time for humans to halt the damage with effective programs limiting the exploitation of the oceans. The tiger might not be salvageable in the wild, but the tiger shark might well be,” McCauley said.
The video above will give you an idea of just what humans are doing to life on Earth both on land and in the oceans.