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Tasty fish
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Jellyfish blooms will become more common
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Tasty fish
Feel like a heapin’ helping of jellyfish? If we continue to take fish from the ocean at the present rate, this might be the only option on the seafood menu. Scientists predict that unless fishing slows down to a sustainable level, our favorite commercial fisheries could collapse. Many of our beloved seafood species are large, slow-growing, long-lived predatory fish. Removal of these predators can allow their prey to flourish, leading to unintended consequences further down the food chain. For example, millions of sharks are caught annually for shark fin soup. The removal of these sharks from the eastern coast of the United States is allowing one of their prey, the cownosed ray, to rapidly increase in numbers. These rays mainly eat scallops, and the removal of these sharks is a major factor in the depletion of the North Carolina scallop beds. Other fishing practices are detrimental, like overfishing, which removes fish that control algae densities that can contribute to dead zones, and bottom trawling, which directly destroys the environment. All these factors create conditions in which only algae and jellyfish are likely to survive. So learn to love jellyfish.

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Sources:

Larsen, J. (2005). Wild fish catch hits limits. Earth Policy Institute. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/Fish/2005.htm
Off-site Link

 

Smith, A. (2007) Ocean Futures: Doom and Gloom – Daniel Pauley. EcoShock News. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://www.ecoshock.org/2007/03/ocean-fisheries
-gloom-doom-daniel-pauly.html
Off-site Link

 

Raloff, J. (2006) New Estimates of the Shark-Fin Trade. Science News Online. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20061104/food.asp
Off-site Link

 

Milius, S, (2007). Too Few Jaws: Shark declines let rays overgraze scallops. Science News Online.  Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070331/fob5.asp
Off-site Link


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