Aug 132008
 

A Scripps researcher has a paper out called Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean. The findings are not for the faint:

Human activities are cumulatively driving the health of the world’s oceans down a rapid spiral, and only prompt and wholesale changes will slow or perhaps ultimately reverse the catastrophic problems they are facing.

…habitat destruction, overfishing, ocean warming, increased acidification and massive nutrient runoff as culprits in a grand transformation of once complex ocean ecosystems. Areas that had featured intricate marine food webs with large animals are being converted into simplistic ecosystems dominated by microbes, toxic algal blooms, jellyfish and disease.

To stop the degradation of the oceans, Jackson identifies overexploitation, pollution and climate change as the three main “drivers” that must be addressed.

The oceans are going through a major collapse that will impact our lives in many ways.

How to help

  • Before buying or ordering seafood, check the Seafood Watch.
  • Avoid eating meat or food from factory farms if possible (runoff promotes toxic growth).
  • Use UV shirts in the ocean instead of sunscreen (it damages coral)
  • Clean up trash or chemicals on streets that flow into storm drains (plastic is a killer)
  • Switch to biodegradable soaps & cleaning products, avoid fertilizers, eliminate oil leaks, don’t dump chemicals or medication down the drain.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint (pollution, warming, and ocean acidification).
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium has a number of ways you can help in their Take Action section.
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