New research published in the journal “Nature” by a team of international scientists has shown that a widely-used indicator of marine biodiversity called trophic level may have over-estimated fish populations.
With nearly half of the ecosystems evaluated for this study found to be in poorer health than previously thought, lead author Professor Trevor Branch of the University of Washington in the USA explained that trophic level calculations incorrectly assume that human fishing practices start with the largest species.
However, as seen in places like the Gulf of Thailand, where smaller species have been fished extensively, this is not true.
There, the average trophic level is rising, which in principle means an improving ecosystem, but in fact all types of marine life have decreased by tenfold since the 1950s due to overfishing.
Commenting on the report’s findings, US National Science Foundation biologist Dr. Henry Gholz said, "This study makes clear that the most common indicator, average catch trophic level, is a woefully inadequate measure of the status of marine fisheries."
Our appreciation Dr. Branch, Dr. Gholz and the international team of scientists for this updated alert on the actual predicament of many marine ecosystems.
May we swiftly choose more considerate lifestyles to save the inhabitants of both land and sea.
During an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the alarming depletion of the oceans and the need to restore their balance.