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As our world surges toward a global population of 9.9 billion by the year 2050 – the need to feed all those people is spiking too. That’s putting unprecedented stress on our fisheries.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization indicates that already “58% of the world’s fish stocks are being fished at or beyond sustainable levels.” The reasons are many – but it boils down to too many boats chasing too few fish, creating a classic “tragedy of the commons.”
Climate change will only exacerbate the problem – warming waters are already forcing fish populations to migrate toward cooler habitats. A recent paper in the journal “Science” calculates that rising seawater temperatures will leach oxygen out of the seawater at increasingly dangerous levels. If we don’t manage to significantly curb greenhouse gas emissions immediately, marine animals will face a mass extinction within three hundred years.
WATCH: Tipping Point: Colorado River Basin on the Brink – A PBS NewsHour Special
In a special 90-minute live event, the PBS NewsHour will explore the connections between climate change, warming oceans, migrating fish populations, the economic stressors facing fishermen and the fishing industry, bad actors on the high seas, and ever-growing seafood demand.
Emmy-award-winning science journalist – and Tipping Point Executive Producer – Miles O’Brien will guide us through a thoughtful conversation with a series of thought leaders on this subject to foster a meaningful dialogue on the science, the policy challenges and possible solutions.
The “Tipping Point” series is sustained by a generous grant from the principal funder, the Walton Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and John F Swift.
Subscribe to our Science Newsletter to explore the wide worlds of science, health and technology.
Miles O’Brien is a veteran, independent journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace.
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