Update on the state of reefs and seas

Are marine fishes important to our survival?

'Look at agriculture - we're running out of land, we're running out of water. Look how the prices of food are going up. In the future, people's protein is going to have to come out of the sea - it's all we have left.'

Read more about this issue in Is farmed fish the new battery chicken? and the fishing industry's latest can of worms by Alex Renton, The Observer 24 Feb 08.

But at the same time "A deadly combination of climate change, over-fishing and pollution could cause the collapse of commercial fish stocks worldwide within decades" U.N. says world fisheries face collapse on Reuters 22 Feb 08;

While reefs are devastated for short-term gains Sri Lanka coral reef fisheries destroyed by organized crime: officials from the Lanka Business Online 23 Feb 08.

And buyers are not supporting Indonesian eco-friendly reef fish by Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post 18 Feb 08;

Land based activities also affect our seas: Rainforest logging threatens endangered sea turtles by Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com 25 Feb 08.

Killing sharks hurts the reefs: "ecosystems which are dominated by large predators like sharks and groupers, and corals there are robust, while the most populated atolls, are characterized by fleshy algae, small plankton-eating fish and degraded corals" in Coral Reefs and What Ruins Them by Cornelia Dean, New York Times 26 Feb 08.

And pollution kills reefs: Caribbean Sea one of world's most polluted by Aretha Welch Trinidad&Tobago Express 23 Feb 08.

As well as seagrasses: Seagrass study calls for chemical cuts on ABC News 26 Feb 08.

Plastics never go away: Microplastics in remote sea: marine pollution at worse levels than thought by Chris Baker, The Guardian 27 Feb 08.

and continues to kill: Senseless, agonising death of a gentle giant by Rebekah Cavanagh, Northern Territory News 27 Feb 08

even whales! 2lb of plastic poison found in whale's stomach The Daily Mail 27 Feb 08;

Will we lose our marine life species by species? Butterflyfish may go extinct by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Science Alert 25 Feb 08.

While climate change affects the oceans

Too cold: Tons of dead fish wash up on Taiwan beaches due to cold temperatures on Reuters 22 Feb 08.

Too hot: Watching Peru's Warming Oceans for Cholera Cues by Joanne Silberner, NPR 26 Feb 08.

Too dead: Ocean ‘desert’ zone extends to isles by Helen Altonn, Honolulu Star Bulletin 25 Feb 08.

But there are signs of positive action!

Action by individuals: Local man leads mangrove tours in Bali by Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post 27 Feb 08.

As well as civil society: Jakarta Green Monster protects wetlands in The Jakarta Post 24 Feb 08.

And government action to stop senseless killing Law to get rid of ‘ghost traps’ paying off by Marty Schladen, The Daily News, Galveston County 23 Feb 08.

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