A new study funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of California predicts we have only forty-two more years until the bulk of the world’s fish and seafood populations are largely wiped out. That’s from here to the year 2048.
The researchers, who called their findings uniformly disturbing, based their fish population study on data from nearly 50 marine locations under protection, as well as U.N. data.
The cause? Overfishing, for one, as well as climate change. But the study notes that oceans already have lost so many species that it’s hard for other species to thrive. Species loss disrupts food chains, which, in turn, disrupts the fragile balance of complex systems, both on land and in the water.
There is still time to reverse the trend, the researchers say, but only if quick action protects depleted fisheries more effectively and saves ocean habitats by creating new marine reserves.