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Human Activity Pushing Marine Life to the Brink of Collapse


Human Activity Pushing Marine Life to the Brink of Collapse

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Human activity is pushing marine life to the brink of collapse, warned a leading international conservation group, which found that overfishing, destruction of marine habitats, and climate change has led to the loss of almost half the world's marine mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish within a single generation.


Commercial exploitation to extinction or near-extinction of numerous marine species is already reality. Commercial exploitation, legal and illegal, with little or no regulation or enforcement from governments are either too complaisant, complicit or ineffectual in conserving or regulating. Pirate operations exist everywhere with nothing done to stop their predation (except by The Sea Shepherd Society and Paul Watson http://www.seashepherd.org/ ), the US Navy contributes to decimation and degradation of marine life in numerous ways as does oil exploration via sonic blasting/pollution.

Land-based livestock produces millions of tons of fecal waste, agriculture uses millions of tons of poisonous pesticides ad herbicides and fertilizers, all of which eventually washes into rivers, bays and estuaries - the nurseries of many marine species. Food fish for many species are caught and ground into fertilizers or cat foods contributing to further extinctions and stress. And government looks away at so-called "jobs" rather than conservation regulation and enforcement - get the Navy to smash pirate fishing fleets, shark-finners, and other rapists of the seas! http://www.alternet.org/story/139962/agriculture_is_one_of_the_most_polluting_and_dangerous_industries

All we do is based on money/profits, not sustainability, conservation or even meaningful regulation and rational husbandry - only profits. Government is either too ignorant or doesn't give a tinker's damn to think about long-term effects, only the "jobs" issue. Asian nations just don’t care what they destroy, even their own environments, with the new-rich clamoring for more species extinctions for old men's elixirs or "delicacies". War and the MICC are the focus while the whole planets ecosystems are destroyed along with millions of human lives.

When the tapestry of life on Mother Earth is unraveled, all will pay the price, including humans!





There is an obvious way to "manage" the oceans. Leave them alone. People don't need to eat the critters of the sea. Vegans and vegetarians, the healthiest people, don't eat such food, nor do we eat the critters of the land. If we ruled the world, problems that seem so insurmountable to animal eaters would simply go away. There is no need for any kind of "management." All we need is wisdom and that quality is in very short supply.


Great post!

Yes it does. We have long used the oceans as our garbage can and at this point, you'd could say that the garbage can is full.

Meanwhile Fukushima voids irradiated water into the oceans, BP anointed the gulf with their idea of holy oil and dispersants.

The oceans are covered by vast dead zones deprived of oxygen and lethal to marine life.

The piper will have his due and we are just beginning to hear him blowing a conch shell...which is almost a surprise that the highly endangered conch still exists... if it still does!


Queen Conch is such a tasty staple throughout the Caribbean/West Indies that I hope not.


Zenpractice, there are more than a few of us out there and more coming on board who recognize the wisdom of choosing to eat and live in a way that goes easy on the other beings on this planet.

And on an even more hopeful note, I think we all have that store house of wisdom if we choose to access it beyond the clamoring of the relentless mind. Takes some serious effort to step outside that box.

Thanks for your comments.


Unfortunately, we could end all fishing today and short of organized global action that is practically unimaginable right now, the seas are still going to be wiped-out due to greenhouse-gas heating, acidification and nutrient pollution/de-oxygenation. We are re-creating the conditions of the great mass extinction at the end of the Permian - except that the conditions are being created 100-1000 times faster - so we have very little idea of what might happen, but it can only be worse than back in that time 252 million years ago - when 96% of all marine species were wiped out, and the oceans reduced to a warm stinking sulfurous anoxic soup. Recovery took 10-30 million years.


Everything we do gets multiplied by our numbers and the modern ease of getting it to market. Once you had to go to the caribbean or some other tropical isle to eat Conch Stew etc but you can order it in Moscow (rhetorical) now. Rockfish off So Africa are becoming extinct even though fully protected because of poaching. The sad truth is that restoring a species that has become too depleted is often impossible because the oceans are in such poor condition in general.

Anything 'threatened' but not yet endangered should be avoided by all who wish to preserve diversity. Conch is a species like that. Too much predation and the species can suddenly tip over to endangered... after that... the odds are against it.


And Europe thinks that the current refugee issue is a crisis. Just wait till Asia can't get protein from the sea and the monsoon fails!


Many people will actually be surprised. We who are interested and aware know about the state of the world. Some people never read books, never listen to the news either. They aren't bad or uncaring. They just have never needed to do things like research global warming and dying oceans. To them the oceans have always been eternal. They are just thinking of them that way still. Like always... the eternal sea.

It is hard for them to think of it any other way. Extremely hard for some people to believe it really could happen. I think when you tell most people that the oceans are dying and the fish are disappearing they nod but deep inside they don't really believe it.


Hopefully you are not driving a car. That is the #1` thing to do to reduce our impact.


Queen conch is still generally only available in the Caribbean and Bahamas - but bans due to the crashing fisheries - it is practically a staple down there. Back in the 1980s I often went to nearby Bonaire when I worked in Venezuela - the dive resort had a resident local biologist who was working on a baby conch cultivation project to restore the fishery. I dont know if he was successful. I have heard the much of formerly beautiful coral reefs around Bonare are now dead. I assume the one would think that the algae growing in place of the coral would provide a plentiful food supply and help things.

What is being called "conch" for sale other places are whelks caught off New England. But they are getting over-fished too.


Everything is pushed to the edge by our predation. We are seven+ billion predators. Our technology has surpassed the ability of nature to sustain healthy populations of species underneath this awesome predation rate. Once tuna were all caught by fishing poles. It limited the rate of predation. The fisherman would work hours pulling in the catch and many tuna are still caught that way today (Dolphin safe). But not all. Now we use nets and miles long hook lines. We kill 10 and 20 times the by catch for each harvested fish. The old ways were based on surplus but now because people are slow to change, the old ways are becoming super destructive and wiping out the last of the fish stocks AND the fish (the unwanted by catch) those food fish eat. So we end up destroying the oceans capacity to renew and restock the fish populations.

Our world dies by our own hands and we deny that we are doing it...

..that is a very bad sign.


A minor issue, but I'd say governments don't even really care about jobs. They would like that problem to go away to ease their re-election, but their priority is of course facilitating the oligarchs endless quest for more $$$. And paying for workers is just an annoyance in terms of profits.


Isn't one of our great tricks to fool ourselves with this idea that organisation, a movement, some structure or some ideology is required for change to happen? It seems to me that as soon as we form groups someone steps up to take control over those groups, dogma is introduced, set agendas are created and the corruption of power sets in.
Given that our problems are human-made, is there not a case for spreading the word of global inaction? I know that sounds bizarre to most minds, but anything else just leaves us all squabbling amongst ourselves while the house burns down. It is so easy to say it is someone else's fault and nothing will happen until [fill in your ideas here] happens. But it seems to me that, if we are to assign cause or blame, the entire industrialised world is the main problem. Even many of the hard-up in the affluent world are busy asking for more income to buy more consumer stuff at the same time as they are indifferent to their own health and the health of the planet... which are arguably the same thing.


One could argue that our over blown human population has had the greatest negative impact on the planet. Bar none. (And yes, I chose not to have children this time around.) We have far exceeded the rational carrying capacity of the planet. And there lies the real rub. Too many humans and our accompanying activities.

As to making other significant changes given that driving a car is the only at present available option for many, yes I drive a car. It is very good on gas and I drive very sparingly. But there are many many many other ways to significantly reduce your personal impact. Like not eating animal products for instance. I live in Missouri, 2nd largest beef producing state in the country and I see up close and personal what that looks like for the natural world and all that's in it.

Here are a few more examples and suggestions re what we do that hurts and what we can do to further help:



Aside from an asteroid strike, humans are the worst contaminant and disaster that could have happened to planet Earth.


Not a very original name


I do not care. Who cares. It does not matter. Better than "xyz." This is all a worthless game anyway.


We need to have a list of GO and NGOs to work on three areas integrated....Water, Energy and Food.....Then those who work on this can join in for help to benefit all. Thank you.