Researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom have found that the industrialization of fishing has exploited fish stocks and has dramatically altered seabed ecosystems, with many marine species that have since collapsed.
Species that have been heavily fished as food items, such as halibut, turbot and plaice have fallen 94% in numbers since 1889. Moreover, cod has declined 87%, with hake decreasing by more than 95%.
The researchers note that fishing laws and quotas have thus far been ineffective in replenishing fish populations. Study co-author Ruth Thurstan commented, “I hope this allows people to realize just how much the seas have been altered and how much has been lost.”
Meanwhile, overfishing combined with global warming and pollution, has also endangered other regions such as the Mediterranean Sea.
Philippe Cousteau, son of French environmentalist and explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, is also CEO of the ocean education organization EarthEco International.
He commented on the drastic change of the world’s oceans since the time of his grandfather, legendary oceanographer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Philippe Cousteau (M): The Mediterranean Ocean is a dead sea. Well, my grandfather was diving 40-50 years ago. You can go back and see those films and look at that footage.
And you go back to the same places today and it’s changed so much. And these places with coral and full of life, you go back and it looks like desert under water.
Supreme Master TV: And what do you propose as a solution to all of this?
Philippe Cousteau (M): Cutting back on meat is a very important one because of all the carbon waste, all the animal waste that goes into the water supplies and pollutes the water and the oceans.
Also thinking about cutting back on simple things every day, like plastic bags, plastic bottles. Plastic is a very, very terrible substance that is polluting our oceans and polluting water everywhere and our land. We have a motto that says, “It’s not that you can make a difference, it’s that everything you do makes a difference.”
VOICE: Our thanks Mr. Cousteau and scientists for raising our awareness about the plight of our depleted oceans. May we all lend a hand in restoring the beauty and balance of our precious water planet by respecting and granting peace to all life forms of the sea.
At a March 2009 climate change conference in Xalapa City, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for humankind’s care of all co-inhabitants, including those that support the living oceans.