Saturday, December 12, 2009

Caribbean: overfishing as the most likely reason for the disappearance of large predatory fishes across the region.

Acidificacion in the caribbean sea from february 1988 to february 2008. Conducted by scientists from NOAA and the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the study was published in the Oct. 31, 2008 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans.
Previous NOAA studies have shown that a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans place in the atmosphere each year ends up being dissolved into the ocean. The result is the ocean becomes more acidic, making it harder for corals, clams, oysters, and other marine life to build their skeletons or shells. A number of recent studies demonstrate that ocean acidification is likely to harm coral reefs by slowing coral growth and making reefs more vulnerable to erosion and storms

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See NASA data in this link Global Scientists Draw Attention To Threat Of Ocean Acidification
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2009) — More than 150 leading marine scientists from 26 countries are calling for immediate action by policy-makers to sharply reduce CO2 emissions so as to avoid widespread and severe damage to marine ecosystems from ocean acidification
This photograph taken in 1957 shows tourists displaying the result of their fishing on the coast of Florida when the first ships began to offer such activity.

It was no exaggeration, in 1958 tourists photographing still proud of his trophies on board the Greyhound.

In 1983 the pieces were no longer as spectacular Florida...

And in 2007 did not even bother to show up in the photo

Source: Pere Stupinya blog:
Florida State University (2009, May 6). 'Sobering' Decline Of Caribbean's Big Fish, Fisheries: Overfishing Deemed Most Likely Cause. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from­ /releases/2009/05/090505200711.htm

Journal Reference:

Student with test tubes conducts research.
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Ocean Acidification In The Caribbean Significant, Yet Variable

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — A new study, which confirms significant ocean acidification across much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, reports strong natural variations in ocean chemistry in some parts of the Caribbean that could affect the way reefs respond to future ocean acidification.ScienceDaily
United Nation Report/
Overfishing: a threat to marine biodiversity
Despite its crucial importance for the survival of humanity, marine biodiversity is in ever-greater danger, with the depletion of fisheries among biggest concerns.
Fishing is central to the livelihood and food security of 200 million people, especially in the developing world, while one of five people on this planet depends on fish as the primary source of protein. According to UN agencies, aquaculture - the farming and stocking of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants - is growing more rapidly than all other animal food producing sectors. But amid facts and figures about aquaculture's soaring worldwide production rates, other, more sobering, statistics reveal that global main marine fish stocks are in jeopardy, increasingly pressured by overfishing and environmental degradation.
“Overfishing cannot continue,” warned Nitin Desai, Secretary General of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, which took place in Johannesburg. “The depletion of fisheries poses a major threat to the food supply of millions of people.” The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation calls for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which many experts believe may hold the key to conserving and boosting fish stocks. Yet, according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre, in Cambridge, UK, less than one per cent of the world’s oceans and seas are currently in MPAs.
The magnitude of the problem of overfishing is often overlooked, given the competing claims of deforestation, desertification, energy resource exploitation and other biodiversity depletion dilemmas. The rapid growth in demand for fish and fish products is leading to fish prices increasing faster than prices of meat. As a result, fisheries investments have become more attractive to both entrepreneurs and governments, much to the detriment of small-scale fishing and fishing communities all over the world. In the last decade, in the north Atlantic region, commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock and flounder have fallen by as much as 95%, prompting calls for urgent measures. Some are even recommending zero catches to allow for regeneration of stocks, much to the ire of the fishing industry.
According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. The dramatic increase of destructive fishing techniques worldwide destroys marine mammals and entire ecosystems. FAO reports that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing worldwide appears to be increasing as fishermen seek to avoid stricter rules in many places in response to shrinking catches and declining fish stocks. Few, if any, developing countries and only a limited number of developed ones are on track to put into effect by this year the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Despite that fact that each region has its Regional Sea Conventions, and some 108 governments and the European Commission have adopted the UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land based Activities, oceans are cleared at twice the rate of forests.
The Johannesburg forum stressed the importance of restoring depleted fisheries and acknowledged that sustainable fishing requires partnerships by and between governments, fishermen, communities and industry. It urged countries to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea and other instruments that promote maritime safety and protect the environment from marine pollution and environmental damage by ships. Only a multilateral approach can counterbalance the rate of depletion of the world’s fisheries which has increased more than four times in the past 40 years.
For further information: Mr. Nick Nuttall, Head of Media Services, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: 254 20 623084, Mobile 254 (0) 733 632755, Fax 254 2 623692, E-mail

“我研究了20種天敵,包括鯊魚,石斑魚,鯛,千斤頂,喇叭和梭魚,來自 22個加勒比國家,說:”斯託林斯。

“獅子魚屬輕微的球員在家鄉太平洋珊瑚礁,但他們正在經歷人口劇增和小型魚類暴飲暴食,在大加勒比地區,教授說:”馬克 Hixon俄勒岡州立大學,斯託林斯'俄勒岡州立大學博士生導師。 “初步證據表明,獅子魚較少侵入性的大型捕食土著魚類豐富,如海洋保護區,”Hixon說。



Given that about half the world's populations live near coastlines and that the world population is growing, demands for ocean-derived protein will continue to increase, Stallings warned, a postdoctoral associate at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory. . He said meeting such demands while retaining healthy coral reefs may require multiple strategies, including implementation of marine reserves, finding alternative sources of protein, and increased efforts to implement family-planning strategies in densely populated areas.
"I examined 20 species of predators, including sharks, groupers, snappers, jacks, trumpetfish and barracuda, from 22 Caribbean nations," said Stallings. ...careful examination of the data suggests
overfishing as the most likely reason for the disappearance of large predatory fishes across the region. He pointed to the Nassau grouper as a prime example. Once abundant throughout the Caribbean, Nassau grouper have virtually disappeared from many Caribbean nearshore areas and are endangered throughout their range.
A case in point, said Stallings, is the ongoing invasion by Pacific lionfish, which were introduced by aquarium releases.
"Lionfish are minor players on their native Pacific reefs, yet they are undergoing a population explosion and overeating small fishes in the greater Caribbean region," said Professor Mark Hixon of Oregon State University, Stallings' doctoral advisor at OSU. "Preliminary evidence suggests that lionfish are less invasive where large predatory native fishes are abundant, such as in marine reserves," Hixon said.
Major Losses For Caribbean Reef Fish In Last 15 Years
ScienceDaily (Mar. 20, 2009) — By combining data from 48 studies of coral reefs from around the Caribbean, researchers have found that fish densities that have been stable for decades have given way to significant declines since 1995.
"We were most surprised to discover that this decrease is evident for both large-bodied species targeted by fisheries as well as small-bodied species that are not fished," said Michelle Paddack of Simon Fraser University in Canada. "This suggests that overfishing is probably not the only cause."
Rather, they suggest that the recent declines may be explained by drastic losses in coral cover and other changes in coral reef habitats that have occurred in the Caribbean over the past 30 years. Those changes are the result of many factors, including warming ocean temperatures, coral diseases, and a rise in sedimentation and pollution from coastal development. Overfishing has also led to declines of many fish species, and now seems to also be removing those that are important for keeping the reefs free of algae.

Teniendo en cuenta que las poblaciones alrededor de la mitad del mundo vive cerca de las costas y que la población mundial está aumentando, la demanda de proteína derivada del océano seguirá aumentando, advirtió Stallings, un asociado postdoctoral en la costa FSU y el Laboratorio Marino.. Dijo que satisfacer la demanda proteica manteniendo la salud de los arrecifes de coral pueden requerir estrategias múltiples, incluida(1) la creacion de las reservas marinas, (2)la búsqueda de fuentes alternativas de proteína, y(3) el aumento de los esfuerzos para aplicar las estrategias de planificación familiar en las zonas densamente pobladas.<
"He examinado 20 especies de depredadores, como tiburones, meros, pargos, jureles, trompetas y las barracudas, de 22 naciones del Caribe", dijo Stallings. ... un examen cuidadoso de los datos sugiere que la pesca excesiva como la razón más probable de la desaparición de los grandes peces depredadores en la región.

Señaló el mero de Nassau como un buen ejemplo. Una vez abundante en todo el Caribe, cherna prácticamente han desaparecido de muchas zonas costeras del Caribe y están en peligro de extinción en todo su rango.Un ejemplo de ello, dijo Stallings, es la invasión en curso por pez león del Pacífico, que fueron introducidos por la liberación del acuario."Lionfish son actores secundarios en su tierra natal, los arrecifes del Pacífico, sin embargo, están experimentando una explosión demográfica y se estan comiendo los peces pequeños en la región del Caribe", dijo el profesor Mark Hixon de Oregon State University, asesor de doctorado Stallings en OSU. "La evidencia preliminar sugiere que el pez león son menos invasivos que los grandes peces depredadores nativos son abundantes, como en las reservas marinas", dijo Hixon.

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