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Monday, December 5, 2011

Marine predators in global free fall: UBC fisheries study

To read an article entitled, "Marine predators in global free fall: UBC fisheries study

please click on the highlighted words in the sentence above this one.

What I find appalling about this article is the following:

"In areas of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, fishing has led to a 90-per-cent decrease in top predators since the 1950s, and the impacts are now headed south of the Equator."

This statistic is both appalling and disgusting! Human ignorance is reaching new heights on a daily basis. Sure people will say, well back then we did not have the scientific knowledge we have now...etc...etc, but still, surely
someone must have seen these predators disappearing before now, why has it taken so long to discern this fact from the available data. Who is to blame? Well surely people in the fishing industry are, and scientists must also be held accountable for their lack of  apparent scientific data on ocean predators in this part of  the World. The question is what are we humans going to do about our awful behavior in the present and future?

I know for a fact that many of these ocean predators were caught in the nets of fisherman, and their carcasses were simply discarded as by-catch by these fisherman! Fisherman and Fishing industries have been selfishly catching anything and everything that moves using  bottom trawling (see: ) and other methods."Traps set for marine organisms can cause damage to hard corals, soft corals, and sponges. They may also result in bycatch and "ghost fishing" (fishing gear that continues to catch fish even though it has been lost or discarded). Both commercial and recreational fishing contributes to anchor damage on coral reefs. Furthermore, groundings of fishing vessels have significantly damaged certain reefs." (source: ).

One other type of fishing which  has been extremely destructive to fish and other marine life is known as, "Factory Fishing". This refers to "Fishing ships "(which) "use state-of-the-art technology to target one species of fish at a time, until that population collapses, and then they turn to another species for profit."
(source: ).

Clearly if there has been a 90 percent decrease in the top -predators in the sea since the 1950's this is a very dangerous condition  for another reason, that being the fact that the fish and animals known as "producers" must have had their populations increase in numbers in great quantities due to lack of predators of these animals. As stated in a previous blog post of mine, if these producers overpopulate the oceans, all the life on the planet may be in jeopardy because these producers will consume all the phytoplankton and other microscopic life in the oceans. This will be a serious problem because these phytoplankton are responsible for creating much of the  the oxygen for life on the planet to breathe!!  To explain this further I found the following information regarding the Marine food chain.

The marine food chain
"Phytoplankton are at the base of the food chain, they are very simple forms of life stimulated by light and nutrients in the water to grow and multiply.

The second level of the food chain is Zooplankton such as the tiny shrimp-like krill, which abound in Antarctic waters. Animal plankton "graze" on the phytoplankton.
The Zooplankton is in turn are eaten by invertebrates, such as squid, and small fish like pilchards and sprats. At the fourth level are the most spectacular hunters, the pelagic fish like tuna, kahawai and kingfish. Streamlined for speed, these fish move in large schools, some migrating many thousands of kilometres each year.
photograph of mako shark
This "mako shark" is among the predators at the top of the marine food chain
At the very top of this branch of the food chain are marine mammals such as dolphins and seals, sharks and humans.
Also connected to the food chain are the bottom dwellers. Life on the sea bed in the continental shelf regions is fed a constant drizzle of dead and decaying matter from the upper levels. This supports a complex community of plant and animal life and bacteria, which is fed upon by bottom feeding, or demersal fish, and species such as rock lobster.
The bacteria on the sea bed perform an essential role by breaking down organic matter and unlocking nutrients which can then be released into the water for re-use by a new generation of plankton. "


Clearly the Oceans of this Planet are in trouble, and because of this fact, all life in the Oceans and all life on the land and in the air on our planet is also threatened! Five  threats (all of which can be at least partially if not  totally blamed on Humans and our behavior)   which are responsible for our oceans being in trouble are outlined and  discussed at the following website:

Please take the time to visit this website and learn what you can do as an individual and as a member of a group, to stop these five threats from becoming too severe in nature!! Thank you!

To learn more about the implications concerning the loss of predators in the Marine food chains of this Planet please visit these websites by clicking on their addresses: (note at least  two require you have a program that can read PDF files on your computer before you can access them):

1. "Effects of Losing Top Predators": .

2."Predators as Prey: Why Healthy Oceans need sharks":

3."Sea Creatures make a healthy ocean planet, air included 
– another “inconvenient truth?”:

4.Loss of Top Animal Predators has Massive Ecological Effects:

5.The Grazers and Predators:

6.Loss of Large Predators Has Caused Widespread Disruption of Ecosystems :

7."Scientists Decry Loss Of Big Ocean Predators":

8. Loss of World's Top Predators Is Pervasively Changing Ecosystems:

9. Sharks' role in the oceans:

10. Habitat Loss:

11. Overfishing threatening Ocean predators:


ropcorn said...

A very interesting post Wayne. And I love that first photo! Such a great capture. Thank you for sharing!

shawn said...

This is a wonderful blog hat I have never found before.. It is interesting & valuable, that's great.. The blog seems to be interesting..
Ged Online

Wayne said...

Alexandra thank you for your kind words. I am glad you found it interesting! Your welcome and Happy New Year to you Alexandra in this "International Year of the Bat". Shawn thank you for your kind words about my blog. Happy New Year to you and thanks for visiting and leaving your kind comment!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.