According to a new study published in Science magazine, the Earth’s seas are fast on their way to becoming over-saturated with human-caused greenhouse gases. The study highlighted a spectrum of factors whose impact has grown especially in the past decade -- rapid warming, changing current patterns, and spreading dead zones – all of which are causing marine ecosystems to decline.
Lead author Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at Australia’s University of Queensland, compared the oceans’ current absorption of excessive quantities of atmospheric CO2 to human lungs being filled with cigarette smoke, which has made the water increasingly toxic and acidic. A recently premiered documentary from the Netherlands, titled "Sea the Truth," also examines the oceans’ plight, with experts like Dutch marine biologist Marianne van Mierlo observing the range of alarming phenomena.
Marianne van Mierlo – Marine Biologist, Nicholas Piersen Foundation, The Netherlands (F): The acidification of the ocean is because of the extensive carbon dioxide production of the humans.
It gets into the oceans, and there, because the oceans get acid from it, the calcification rates of all organisms that produce calcite skeletons, that really decreases. They can’t make their shells anymore and it’s really dangerous for, for example, corals, shellfish, also phytoplankton, zooplankton.
VOICE: As the new research confirmed, marine ecosystems are being driven to a tipping point, with danger signs already observed in the form of smaller and fewer fish as well as more frequent diseases in underwater organisms. According to many ocean scientists, including Ms. van Mierlo and others featured in "Sea the Truth," one important solution apart from reducing CO2 emissions is halting fish consumption.
These ocean inhabitants contribute to the balance of marine environments and thus are needed for their preservation.
Marianne van Mierlo (F): Fish excrete calcium carbonate lumps, which are buffering the ocean acidification, which is really important. So also it’s important to stop overfishing.
Totally, we should stop eating fish now, and it is so important to keep our oceans healthy, and we’ve already gone way too far in exploiting them.
VOICE: Our thanks Ms. van Mierlo, Professor Hoegh-Guldberg and associates for providing the facts and warnings from the seas. May we join hands in rescuing and restoring the oceans by adopting a meat- and fish-free diet that saves all lives.
Marianne van Mierlo (F): I’m Marianne van Mierlo. Be veg, go green, and save the planet!
Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently spoken of how our lifestyles can affect the marine ecosystems, as in an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine.