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06/27/2011

The ocean is totally screwed  »

If you haven’t been paying attention, listen up: the ocean is effed. The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) brought together a team of scientists from different disciplines to discuss the “multiple stresses” affecting marine life. Normally, scientists only look at the problems in their field of expertise; when examining all the problems facing the ocean in conjunction, the findings are “shocking.” The conclusion: we are way worse off than we thought. We are having all the problems we knew about—habitat loss, overfishing, climate change, acidification—but the rate of destruction is hella more accelerated than previously projected. A mass marine extinction is a real possibility.

Here’s an overview from one of the science bros:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

Shit is scary! But, hey guys, don’t go hide under your bed just yet! There are ways to help! From CNN: “Dan Laffoley, senior advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN, and co-author of the report, said: ‘The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen. The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent.’” That’s a rally call if I ever heard one!

As the video says, one of the main issues is overfishing. From IPSO: “Scientists at the IPSO meeting agreed that overfishing is exerting an intolerable pressure on ecosystems already under attack by the effects of acidification and warming, and other largely man-made ocean problems. A recent study showed that 63% of the assessed fish stocks worldwide are exploited or depleted and over half of them require further reduction of fishing, in order to recover.” Luckily, overfishing is one problem we can directly help alleviate—stop eating fish! It’s pretty simple: When trying to preserve a species, one thing you can do is not kill them. Science!

For more actions you can take, HuffPo put together a nice list of 10 things you can do to help the ocean (number two? Eat less fish. Check!).

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