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Oceans Empty By 2048?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the dang-i-liked-fish dept.

589

F34nor writes to mention a CBS news article about the depopulation of ocean species. According to a study by a scientist in Halifax, Nova Scotia and assisted by research from all around the world, the world's oceans will be emptied of large lifeforms by 2048. From the article: "Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% — a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries. But the issue isn't just having seafood on our plates. Ocean species filter toxins from the water. They protect shorelines. And they reduce the risks of algae blooms such as the red tide. 'A large and increasing proportion of our population lives close to the coast; thus the loss of services such as flood control and waste detoxification can have disastrous consequences,' Worm and colleagues say."

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lolol (-1, Offtopic)

homeobocks (744469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713051)

But does it run Linux?

Re:lolol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713343)

No, but it does run NetBSD.

We know it's true (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713061)

This has to be correct. Aren't predictions of what's going to happen 40 years in the future always correct? No?

Are they ever? Even once?

Re:We know it's true (3, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713091)

The only one that I have seen so far that might be true is that 40 years after i was born i will turn 40. Exactly 40 years.

However, I am doing every stupid thing in my power to prevent this from happening.

Re:We know it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713103)

Well, if Al Gore or any other Democrat said it, it would be true. After all, we need a new plan don't we. But.....what exactly is the new plan again?

Re:We know it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713107)

1984, in various forms.

Re:We know it's true (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713157)

Ssssssh! Shut up, the global warming mob might hear you.

what a hard-nosed skeptic you are (3, Funny)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713277)

Ssssssh! Shut up, the global warming mob might hear you.
Yes, it would be horrible to have all those people who have noticed that global temperature is increasing also notice that you are skeptical that the oceans will run out of sea life just because the living things in the sea are dying off faster than their numbers are being replenished. Those people are so weird, with their fact-based reality and belief that life on this planet matters. I'm glad you're too much of an independent thinker to fall for their soft-headed ruses.

Re:what a hard-nosed skeptic you are (0, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713333)

Oh, get over yourself. People have been predicting the Malthusian doom of mankind and the planet forever, and people like you have been sneering at the skeptics every time. But don't worry, I'm sure you can save us all from ourselves if you just work yourself into enough of a snit.

-jcr

Re:what a hard-nosed skeptic you are (3, Insightful)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713383)

The situation with the oceans seems fairly obvious and logical (and we know we've already depleted quite a lot), so I don't see how you can disparage as a "Malthusian doom". More like an inevitable direction that we will have to face up sooner or later...

Re:what a hard-nosed skeptic you are (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713427)

Oh, get over yourself.
Yes, the fact that I respect scientific evidence and am concerned about its implications definitely indicates that I have an overly inflated opinion of myself. I'm so arrogant that I accept the scientific consensus about climate change and its potential effect on our lives. If I only had enough humility to summarily dismiss the conclusions of scientists, the very people who gave me medicine, technology, etc. If I had a slightly lower opinion of myself I'd be arrogant enough to think I knew more than people who have more education and knowledge on this particular subject. Thank you for your acute and insightful assessment of my character.

People have been predicting the Malthusian doom of mankind and the planet forever
Ah yes, the hand-waving "they're making it all up, and scientists have been wrong before!" rebuttal. Are you saying the temp is not increasing, or that it will have no effect on human life? I can understand (though disagree with) the point that the temp is increasing but it just doesn't matter, but I can't quite figure out your position.

Re:what a hard-nosed skeptic you are (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713441)

His position is simple - if it hasn't malfunctioned in the past, it won't malfunction in the future.

Re:We know it's true (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713245)

This has to be correct. Aren't predictions of what's going to happen 40 years in the future always correct? No? Are they ever? Even once?
So, I take it you're still waiting for your delivery of the flying car that the rest of us has been enjoying for years now? Trust me, it's totally worth the wait.

I see your point (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713247)

"Resources are being used faster than they are being replenished, and the supply is finite" doesn't logically, inescapably lead to "we'll run out". Well, unless you use logic. See, this type of argument doesn't require that we just trust all these scientists. They aren't standing there saying "well, we're pretty smart, so you should believe us, with no evidence offered, and change everything you're doing." If these two conditions are correct:
  1. Sea life is dying faster than it is being replenished
  2. The supply is finite
Wouldn't it seem painfully obvious that we'll run out? Do you think they're really relying on the "argument from authority" fallacy? Do you think that more sea life will just magically appear? Or do you just not care? People with your worldview really confuse me. I can't figure out if it's science you distrust, or statistics, or what. "Scientists are fallible" doesn't refute any single conclusion, much less one that you can figure out for yourself to be true. This isn't quantum mechanics or some other obscure field that requires a lot of expertise. If you cut down trees faster than trees grow, you'll end up with zero trees. Change trees to fish, and what do you get? How can you manage to have such scorn for something with such serious consequences?

Re:I see your point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713271)

with less species there is less competition. with less competition other species flourish. without evidence, my theory is just as likely.

Re:I see your point (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713313)

You are absolutely right. Indeed, we see poisonous algae flourishing already.

Re:I see your point (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713339)

with less species there is less competition. with less competition other species flourish. without evidence, my theory is just as likely.
The food net is more delicate than that, and species are heavily dependent on each other. Also, species survival depends on a certain population level--if you cut too far, individuals will have a harder time mating, and so on. I'm no expert, but I took a class on Oceanography, and it was surprising how delicate the balance is. Yes, the earth's oceans will recover from depletion--in thousands or millions of years. Scary "the sky is falling" stories like this aren't predicated on the idea that the earth will never recover, only that it won't recover in enough time to prevent serious harm to our (human) way of life. This goes a bit beyond shrimp being an extra dollar a pound.

Re:I see your point (1)

LukeWink (898707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713311)

1. Sea life is dying faster than it is being replenished
2. The supply is finite


That logic is bulletproof. Except you forgot one little thing (that everyone who makes this same argument always forgets about), and that's the fact that demand is (and almost always is) elastic - not static.

Do the authors of this study believe their own results? Here is an excerpt from a letter that Boris Worm accidently sent to a newspaper:

(taken from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/20 03340489_seafood03m.html [nwsource.com] )
In a note to colleagues that was mistakenly sent to The Seattle Times, Worm wrote that the projection could act as a "news hook to get people's attention."

I'm not saying that overfishing is not a cause for concern, but the "world is gonna end in 50 years" claims that keep popping up in these studies are getting tiresome, and in the end I think it ends up hurting their cause.

Re:I see your point (1)

ProfM (91314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713359)

Do you think that more sea life will just magically appear?


Yes.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2006/10/31/219 [canoe.ca] 6498-ap.html

Re:We know it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713321)

"Are they ever? Even once?"

I predict that every prediction about the year 2086 made in the year 2046 will be incorrect. Either I'm right, or someone in 2046 is...

Re:We know it's true (1)

Petronius.Scribe (1020097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713357)

It has happened before, you know, and it's usually due to climate change. If you look at the last billion years or so it's relatively common for the largest marine species to all die out in a fairly short time. For some reason sharks always seem to survive.

Re:We know it's true (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713397)

Sharks and Ebola, natures really good killing machines.

Ebolas with friggen laser beams on their heads.

Soylent Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713073)

There'll be plenty of Soylent Green to go around.

Worm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713085)

Of course someone named "Worm" would want to convince everyone to stop fishing. Typical Worm.

Harrumph (1, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713093)

Sounds fishy to me.

Re:Harrumph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713181)

Yes, especially this line:
a study by a scientist in Halifax, Nova Scotia

As a resident of said city, it's highly unlikely there are any credible scientists living here.

Every bit helps (2, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713097)

Next time at the super, buy farm raised fish. Every little bit helps, and not supporting the trawler factories that empty the ocean is a good small step you can take yourself.

Re:Every bit helps (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713139)

Next time at the super, buy farm raised fish.

Tell that to the Japanese [abc.net.au]

Re:Every bit helps (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713193)

Yeah, that article is great... "We finally caught the Japanese taking more fish then they're supposed to have been, and it's only been going on for at least two decades. And despite the fact that they've ignored every previous request to not overfish their quota, and that we've cut their bluefish tuna quota in half, we trust them not to cheat again."

Bollocks.

Core Problem: Human Over-population (3, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713243)

The fish stocks are declining to the point of extinction simply because the human population is too large. There is not enough fish to satiate the appetites of all 6 billion people.

Buying farm-raised fish is not the answer. To raise such fish, the farmers harvest other fish from the oceans in order to feed the fish on the farms. The end result is still the depletion of the wildlife in the oceans.

The only and correct solution is to stop growing the human population. However, no one wants to talk about over-population because talking about it usually elicits accusations of "bigot" or "racist".

The political mantra in the USA is that growing the population is wonderful. Both the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) and the "New York Times" (NYT) supports it. Both the WSJ and the NYT argue that unfettered immigration enriches everyone; talk about over-population runs contrary to unfettered immigration.

Over-population reminds me of global warming. Both are very serious problems, yet most people just do not feel the immediacy and seriousness of these problems. So, they hesitate to do anything that is substantive in fixing these problems -- until the day that the huge calamity (i.e. famine or environmental disaster) hits.

Re:Core Problem: Human Over-population (1)

Petronius.Scribe (1020097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713301)

Immigration doesn't affect world population, you know. Saying that you think there's too many humans isn't racist. Neither is being against unfettered immigration. However, saying that you want to limit immigration to avoid overpopulation is pure racism. It means that you want less of the "bad" kind of people proportionally. I agree with you that we need less people. The answer is to reduce birthrates worldwide, but then you run into entrenched religious interests and everything gets rather sticky.

Re:Core Problem: Human Over-population (1)

LukeWink (898707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713409)

Populations are declining in a large portion of the world. Japan, Russia, and most of Europe's populations have held steady or declined over recent years. The US would have a negative population growth if it wasn't for imigration.

Poorer nations will undoubtably go through the same population cycle as first world countries have. Once their economic and social situations improve, their populations will level off and perhaps decline.

Take a look at different countries Total Fertility Rate:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and _territories_by_fertility_rate [wikipedia.org]
Any country with a TFR of less than 2.1 is in a state of population decline. There's quite a few of them out there. This is why overpopulation is not the hot issue it was 15 years ago...

Re: There is not enough fish to satiate... (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713365)

... the appetites of all 6 billion people.

Hmm, I was always (back in Soviet Russia, really!) taught that these 6 billion people look forward every day towards some bread... Or rice... (In rare years we were not at war with -- equally "Communist" -- China).

What makes you think all of The World's Underprivileged People are going to go after the bluefish tuna tomorrow, if I may ask?

Paul B.

Re:Core Problem: Human Over-population (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713379)

The fish stocks are declining to the point of extinction simply because the human population is too large. There is not enough fish to satiate the appetites of all 6 billion people.
True, but there doesn't need to be enough fish to feed 6 billion people. There are many other food sources, and as usual, a healthy mix does the trick.

Buying farm-raised fish is not the answer. To raise such fish, the farmers harvest other fish from the oceans in order to feed the fish on the farms. The end result is still the depletion of the wildlife in the oceans.
I'm no expert on this, but I am sure researchers can find a way to feed farm fish from sources other than ocean fish, and I'm sure it's already done today to a certain degree.

The only and correct solution is to stop growing the human population. However, no one wants to talk about over-population because talking about it usually elicits accusations of "bigot" or "racist".
Over-population is not a problem in itself, it's entirely a human-made problem because we lacked the foresight to provide an infrastucture that allows for scalability when we built cities and communities. I've seen calculations that asserted that feeding the world's population would be no problem if all resources (both human and natural) were used in a sensible manner, and wouldn't be a problem for years to come. Of course, over-population will be a serious threat once a certain limit is reached, but we are far from reaching it.

The political mantra in the USA is that growing the population is wonderful. Both the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) and the "New York Times" (NYT) supports it. Both the WSJ and the NYT argue that unfettered immigration enriches everyone; talk about over-population runs contrary to unfettered immigration.
The West thinks growing the population is wonderful because we're afraid of the East. China is huge and we can't control it, India is following quickly, and some day even the African continent might become a serious contender. Obviously, the Wests answer to this is grow as much as possible.

Over-population reminds me of global warming. Both are very serious problems, yet most people just do not feel the immediacy and seriousness of these problems. So, they hesitate to do anything that is substantive in fixing these problems -- until the day that the huge calamity (i.e. famine or environmental disaster) hits.
Yes, you are right, but to counter those problems, we must first analyse them correctly.

No it doesn't (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713433)

Farm-raised fish, alas, have their own impacts. If the fish are high on the food chain (like salmon), somebody has to go out and catch fish to feed the farm fish. Plus fish farms cause pollution that impacts the wild environment. Finally, there's a lot of fear that farm fish will be hot zones for diseases that will spread to wild fish. No magic solution here.

The real solution consists of simple, common-sense resource management. You don't fish species that are obviously in trouble. You set aside zones for fish population to breed and recover unmolested. You ban practices like bottom-trawling that kill many more fish than get caught.

The problem is, any time you restrict people's ability to make a living, you get political resistance. So just as lumber companies insist that there's plenty of trees left, and car companies poo-poo global warming as nonsense, fishermen object that all these claims of collapsing fish stocks are nonsense. And countries that are economically dependent on fishing, like Japan and Norway, back them up.

The poster child for this situation is the Patagonian Tooth Fish. Twenty years ago, nobody heard of it. Then other species became hard to get, and somebody realized this dude cooked up nicely, and renamed it Chilean Sea Bass. Now, if this species lived in waters that somebody controlled and could enforce realistic fishing limits, it might have stood a chance. Alas, it mostly lives in antarctic waters, where enforcment is legally and logistically difficult. Should be gone in another 10 years. Thirty years to wipe out a species!

Empty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713099)

Um. Sea levels are rising. I know water conservation is a problem, but How is the ocean supposed to empty???

Re:Empty? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713143)

How is the ocean supposed to empty???

The Combine, obviously.

Re:Empty? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713419)

Ya, the water at the docks seemed really low to me.

I for one welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713101)

...our stale joke spewing slashbot overlords to say:

"I for one welcome our red algae bloom overlords"

catchpha: rotten (as in rotten whales and fish washed up on the beach)

They seem to be forgetting something... (1, Insightful)

dduardo (592868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713105)

Less Supply = Higher Price
Higher Price = Less Demand
Less Demand = Fish Population Increases

If a can of tuna went for $300 dollars because of a tuna shortage, I bet a lot of people would start cutting back on their tuna consumption.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

dduardo (592868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713125)

Also, I doubt the fishing industry would want their business to collapse.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713177)

The fishing industry may be willing to let their business collapse if they think that it's going to collapse anyway (in a tragedy of the commons, or if they think that some overzealous government actions might prevent them from fishing in the future, or...)

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713305)

Also, I doubt the fishing industry would want their business to collapse.
That depends. Can the "fishing industry" make decisions regarding it's furthered survival? It can't if it's run Laissez-Faire style. In such a case, if you decide to hold off on overfishing, someone else will just take your place. In non-regulated capitalism, doing the *right* thing is often also the *stupid* thing.

On the other hand, if there's a strong, viable international body which oversees and regulates the fishing industry--and I don't care whether it's the UN, some treaty among nations, or a private consortium of fishers, canners, and distributors--then yes, they *can* make the right decision, and in that case, the right decision is also the *smart* decision.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (2, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713347)

No? There are lots of examples of industries that have collapsed because of over exploitation. The fact is, the fishing industries probably don't care (or worry) about the collapse--they can worry about that once it does (the word "greed" comes to mind here).

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713149)

Not if a hamburger was $400.00.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713163)

Less Demand = Fish Population Increases

Ecosystems don't work that way. Fish need a certain population density to breed properly. They don't use singles bars like us humans.

The linear relationship you assume exists...doesn't.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713169)

The question remains though, is that enough?

You can only depopulate a species so much before their chances of survival as a speicies (even after you stop farming them) goes down. There has to be enough of them to create stable populations, find mates, and produce enough new young to continue the population.

Do we know how close any of these species tipping point towards extinction is to the price point where demand drops low enough for them to recover?

My guess is that would be a very hard question to answer. In the end, your right, it will all work itself out eventually with the collapse of the fishing industries. However, how far down the path will that be? As we go down that path, how do we effect the recovery time. Is it linear as long as we do nothing, or does a delay in action of 5 years mean 100 years of recovery?

I don't know the answers but, as you can see, this leaves me with some questions and a little trepidation to just say we need to leave it to market economics.

It would be a crying shame to loose some fish. I know I would miss them.

-Steve

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713187)

If a can of tuna went for $300 dollars because of a tuna shortage, I bet a lot of people would start cutting back on their tuna consumption.

Yeah, you'd think so. But Atlantic bluefin tuna are already usually sold for tens of thousands of dollars on the Japanese market. A large bluefin will get a price of over $100,000. [msn.com]

You can make a lot of sushi out of one good sized fish. And sushi is damn expensive.

And bluefin is very, very tasty.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713209)

If cans of tuna sell for $300, however, that significantly incentivizes the exploitation of fish stocks that have already been so overexploited that they fetch sky-high prices. A moratorium that is actively enforced, converseley, might actually ensure that the population survived.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713215)

Less Supply = Higher Price Higher Price = Less Demand Less Demand = Fish Population Increases If a can of tuna went for $300 dollars because of a tuna shortage, I bet a lot of people would start cutting back on their tuna consumption.


It doesn't always work that way. For example, real caviar is so expensive that only very few people can afford it, yet many types of sturgeon are endangered, and we have to resort to other means (such as aquaculture [wikipedia.org] ) to keep the species from becoming extinct. What I'm trying to say is, demand and overfishing aren't the only factors at work here. Pollution, global warming, geological changes play a role, too.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713269)

You fail at economics.

If tuna went for $300/can, it would be even more aggressively fished, not less.

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

Sub Zero 992 (947972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713281)

If a can of tuna sold for $300 only the rich would be able to afford destroying the planet. Economic disincentives may work, but they are inherently anti-democratic.

Totally untrue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713289)

Less Supply = Higher Demand
Higher Demand = More profit for harvesters
More profit means you can kill off the last 5% of a species and be making tons of money
Read Farly Mowatts "Sea of Slaughter" to find out how capitalism works on cute fuzzy animals, a whole bunch of whom used to number in the millions and and now extinct.

Re:Totally untrue. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713369)

More profit means you can kill off the last 5% of a species and be making tons of money

'Cause, they're just as easy to find and catch as the first 95% were, right?

-jcr

Re:They seem to be forgetting something... (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713403)

"If a can of tuna went for $300 dollars because of a tuna shortage, I bet a lot of people would start cutting back on their tuna consumption."

That may be, but outside of an anarcho-capitalist wet dream - out here in reality - the Free Market does not obey the law of don't-harvest-that-animal-to-extinction-for-its-ta sty-flesh. You can't just say, oh, "the price of tuna will increase proportionately," wave your hands, and chalk up another victory for the market. Have you considered a career in homeopathy? [insert hand waving].

Why on earth would you think otherwise? What mechanism do you propose that binds the free market value of tuna to not harvesting tuna beyond its capacity to recover? Yes, the price of seafood would likely increase as fish become increasingly scarce, but we simply have no reason to believe that we can throw caution and depend on the Free Market to ensure that when the population of tuna is at the threshold beyond which recovery is unlikely, the price of tuna will "therefore" be such as to reduce the rate of consumption to below the rate of recovery. There is simply no reason to trust that this will happen. There is no "therefore".

Now, if you were a *good* Libertarian you would say, "The problem with the oceans is because they are not privately owned, no one has an incentive to protect them. If the oceans were privately owned, then their owners would protect them to ensure their continued vitality. Therefore, to save the oceans, we must parcel out the oceans - or at least the tasty-fish-stock - to private landowners."

See? Even I know that one. That's a neat trick, isn't it?

But you know what, that private landowner doesn't give a shit what impact his actions will have on the world 50 - much less 100 - years from now, and he certainly doesn't give a shit about the ecological impact on what he does not own, nor on that which is not profitable.

There is no "therefore", and a future that "tends toward" not being an ecological catastrophy isn't exactly the sort of world we should be leaving for our grandchildren.

But hey, so long as you make a few bucks off 'a it ...catastrophy smastrophy, AMIRITE?!

Humans the stupidest animals on Earth (1)

Araxen (561411) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713113)

Why? Because it's very unlikely we'll do anything about it and we'll just let it happen. It's sad to say but it's the reality of the situation.

Re:Humans the stupidest animals on Earth (1)

Dannybolabo (980836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713287)

Yeah and all those other animals out there are helping keep the fish population up huh?

Re:Humans the stupidest animals on Earth (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713317)

And, considering that a 90% loss is fairly significant, it's debatable if we could do anything anyway. Even if capturing those 29% of fish was banned, the re-establishment of their population could be questioned. Clearly the rates of death, in those 29% of edible fishes, far exceeds the rates of birth (because humans have raised the rate of death). We're not the only predators of those fish however. If we stopped predating them, it could be argued that they have fallen below som critical level and "natural" predation will finish them off. Of course, births will still be occuring, but with a diminished gene pool, lots of bad things happen.

Dibs on the last crabcake (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713117)

It'll be extintionalicious.

If I were an investor (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713119)

I'd be investing in technologies designed to perform the ocean species' duties on a mass scale.

If we can build massive floating factories that sweep away the sea life, then maybe, just maybe, we can build ships to clear out toxins and drive back the red tide of algea. It seems like that's about our only hope.

We wanted to control our environment and Nature said: "Good, then you can do this stuff too! How about balancing ocean life? Would you like to maintain a protective ozone, too?" So far, our answer has been a lot of hemming and hawing.

Re:If I were an investor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713315)

For what purpose? So our viral species can continue to exist? I say, let us destroy ourselves, the world will be better off.

Re:If I were an investor (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713417)

You first. When you die, notify us and we will follow. And if we do not, then we can send Ted Haggert and a few like him.

Only one response to this... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713137)

Start stocking up on canned tuna, especially when Safeway is having a sale. The person with the most canned tuna in 50 years becomes an instant zillionaire on the black market.

Re:Only one response to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713257)

Canned tuna tastes like shit compared to real fresh tuna. It's like comparing spam to a black angus.

I'm sure there are people who like it, but they're usually the same people who think kraft macoroni and velveeta cheese is a hearty meal.

c0m (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713147)

By 2048 (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713153)

By 2048, won't we have most of the Ocean's life DNA on backup storage drives, so we can recreate any animal as needed per zoo? Nah, probably not 2048, more like we'll have the DNA, but won't be able to create animals until 2150 or so. I'm seriously not hopeful in this technology, just raising a dull point.

Re:By 2048 (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713367)

Just for the record, since you're being a bit tongue-in-cheek, a healthy population needs genetic diversity, else you have a dead-species-walking that will die off from weakness or disease. That's why endangered species' have problems that don't go away even if their numbers bounce back. Just for the record.

More like 20 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713159)

The study did not take into account the increasing consumption of emerging countries such as China.

Impending global warming and depletion of natural resources, we really f*cked up didn't we.

Brilliant analysis at redstate.com (0)

lheal (86013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713165)

Running out of Fish [redstate.com] .

The comments are hilarious, yet insightful.

Not only is the sky falling, the oceans are just emptying right out, too.

Re:Brilliant analysis at redstate.com (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713319)

The first argument assumes the fish have unlimited places to hide in the ocean, but many species stick to a certain general route and ocean depth. To assume fish can't go extinct due to overfishing would be like denying that species of whales got overhunted in the 1800's and thus went extinct. And what about

Yes, once the number depletes, it'll be harder and harder to kill fish, but for those same fish it will be harder and harder to find a mate and reproduce.

American Buffalo were also almost hunted down to extinction:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Bison#Buffal o_hunts [wikipedia.org]

If anything, Private Industry has shown to be very poor at regulating themselves in this area.

Re:Brilliant analysis at redstate.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713389)

And what about

In other news, scientists have determined that 29% of sentence-ending words have declined by 90% due to overuse on social websites like MySpace. Sentence-ending words don't just take up bandwidth. They convey ideas. They reduce confusion. And they provide a place to slap a period on at the end. "A large and increasing population lives on the Internet. The loss of such concepts as complete thoughts and correct grammar could have disastrous consequences," Word and colleagues say.

Ok then... (1)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713183)

So in 2048, we'll have 8 billion people and no fish. Time to buy stock in Soylant Green.

What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713189)

Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90%[...]
So we'll just eat the inedible fish. What's the big deal?

i was was once a fisherman (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713197)

As a former longliner fisherman, i would say the only thing that is hurting us is the nets. When i was a fisherman...using hooks mind you...when a trawler came by, we caught nothing! meaning they took all. With longlining, yes a few sharks get killed and a few other innocents, but not to the degree trawlers take.

I remember one time when we had a dolphin on our line her/him loose. that showed me intelligence right then and there.

Whenever a net boat was close, we never caught anything. Nets should be illegal, even though Jesus used a net, it isnt in the same scope, he was in a row boat as compared to a fully mechanized boat using hydraulics and such. longliners catch fish yes, but it is much more civil. If u want to fight it, then stop eating Tuna! there are practical methods for fishing, and impractical...nets have no need to be here with our technology. they are old school ruining our world in the new day.

Re:i was was once a fisherman (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713221)

I remember one time when we had a dolphin on our line her/him loose. that showed me intelligence right then and there. i meant to say we had a dolphin on our line but until he/she was loose...etc

It's so self-evident (3, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713223)

The solution is painful, but simple. Commercial fishing has to disappear. Already half of the world's fish consumption is fish-farmed. In the same way that we don't allow commercial hunting of land animals, we'll have to forbid commercial fishing. It's true that for now farmed fish is most of the time not as good as the hunted one, but its just a matter of time before we improve the technology enough to fix the problem.

Bullshit? (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713227)

Although I don't put a whole lot of stock in those numbers, I'm quite certain mankind will continue to plunder our world's natural resources just as we always have.

I think we need to focus on improving our fish farming techniques. Although netting is far more cost effective now, once supplies dwindle enough, the farming of fish will become more attractive. I believe most populations of fish will bounce back. I worry most about the sharks.

Re:Bullshit? (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713401)

Once supplies dwindle enough, the farming of fish will become more attractive

And at that stage the available genes will be so low that farming may become problematic as well...

just keep makin' babies (0, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713239)

that's all we need - more mouths to feed. More people. crowd the planet until it is one giant city running on empty.

Stupid humans - running to the cliff. Consuming resources like yeast in a bottle of grape juice. Eventually we will die in our own shit. Leaving behind an intoxicating stew of death.

die you stupid fucks. make more babies. watch them die. "BUT I JUST GOTTA HAVE A BABY!" she cried. "I gotta have a pile of young'ns to inherit my world!" he yelped. DIE YOU STUPID FUCKS! And take your SUVs WITH YOU! Jesus AIN'T comin' for your sorry behind. Just gonna let you STARVE! And SHIVER! The natural gas will be gone soon enough so you won't be cookin' jackshit anyway. Stupid fucks! DIE! and you think nuclear fission will come to the rescue? Sorry, no - it's a finite resource too. And you think solar power's gonna save you? Think again, stupid fucks. Die stupid fucks. If solar power doubled in output year over year, it'll take decades before it even approachs half your needs, and by then, you're screwed.

Right around the time the fish run out. And you'll think you'll burn soybean oil for your cars? No way, stupid fucks. You'll be starving for that oil. you think you're going to finance your way out of it? Haha - jokes on you - stupid fucks. The USA is down by 9 trillion bucks - at a million a day it'll be sometime after the next ice age you stupid fucks pay that off. die you stupid fucks. you and your stupid babies - put your ear to rail and hear what's coming.

In the twenty-first century - you'll do the ghost dance.

die you stupid fucks. Die. Starve and freeze and murder each other for the few remaining resources - like a bunch of lemmings, like a bunch of yeast - you will over populate and DIE you stupid fucks DIE. you'll fry each other's cities with nuclear weapons, you'll be back in the stone age before you can say "four gigabytes of RAM", you'll be eating your neighbour's food after you kill him and dismantle his McMansion for the firewood.

you'll be crying like a bunch of babies because there's no energy for your playstation or xbox. Wah wah wah - I can't play my games! No world of Warcraft, because it will be a world OF WAR all around you, and you will weep like the spoiled rotten retarded bunch of fat whiners you are. die you stupid fucks. die.

Die you stupid fucks. Die.

RS

Stupid fucks will mod me a troll - the wise will listen to the last prophecy that ever mattered, and will make their plans accordingly.

Re:just keep makin' babies (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713279)

Although I agree with your sentiments to a degree...dude chill.

Re:just keep makin' babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713297)

The mere fact that you have access to a computer and the internet signifies that you are, despite what you may think, part of the problem. Therefore, I suggest you put you take your own advice and either sterilize yourself or, better yet, commit suicide upon reading this message. But we both know you won't. That whole dying and lifestyle criticism was for OTHERS, not for you--was it?

Yeesh. (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713407)

Mod parent up, but more importantly mod grandparent down. I wonder if the hospital he's staying at knows that he has internet access?

Re:just keep makin' babies (1, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713377)

die you stupid fucks. make more babies. watch them die.

Somebody isn't getting any.

Re:just keep makin' babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713439)

Dude, its Saturday night. Drink a beer, smoke a cigar, relax or something.

Genes (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713251)

Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries

A decline of 90% for any species surely means that the species is in chance of vansishing entirely. The gene pool of 29% of the ocens edible fishes has diminished (according to the article). The chances of those fishes regaining their former population is decreasing as well. Also, even if they do reach their previous numbers inbreeding is probably more likely (resulting in gene depression etc). If the data is accurate then I don't think it's FUD.

Gov. replies (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713253)

What is interesting about this, is that nearly all the govs. of countries who depend on the fisheries are quickly denying that this is an issue. Long before the fisheries are truely wiped out, we will see countries start invading each others fishery water. I suspect that large western govs. will very shortly start working on making sure that fisheries will be available for the future. But, their goal will be for local feeding. 20 years from now, should prove to be very interesting.

It's ok to fish (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713261)

As long as you don't over fish Leave some for the rest of us.

Whats next? (2, Funny)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713267)

Some loony liberal pinko hippy commies will tell us that we are running out of oil ,and there is global warming looming? NONSENSE!

Obligatory quote... (3, Funny)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713309)

So long and thanks for all the fish...

Algae (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713323)

Considering that we really don't eat too much fish in a modern diet anyway...wouldn't a lower fish population increase algae, which would be a positive for the atmosphere?

How do these "scientists" know? (1)

ProfM (91314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713325)

Ok, I'm skeptical.

First, "they" claim that the worlds fish population will be gone by 2048. How do they know? By the best evidence ... anecdotal? Or is it just fearmongering?

Well .. the fine article starts out all in a tizzy ... but finally gets to the real meat:

The National Fisheries Institute, a trade association for the seafood industry, does not share the researchers alarm.

"Fish stocks naturally fluctuate in population," the institute said in a statement. "By developing new technologies that capture target species more efficiently and result in less impact on other species or the environment, we are helping to ensure our industry does not adversely affect surrounding ecosystems or damage native species."

Steve Murawski, chief scientist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said the method the study's authors used to predict worldwide fish supplies is flawed.

"We have major problems with their forecast of no commercial fish stocks by 2048," said Murawski said Thursday. "We just don't think that forecast is credible for the United States."

Hmmm .... but we shouldn't believe them ... they're in it for the money.

On a side note ... more credible scientists find MANY new species of ocean dwellers.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2006/10/31/219 6498-ap.html [canoe.ca]

News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713329)

Hmmm, news for nerds. I can't quite make the connection in this story.

Ok, let me try. Geeks like Japanese culture a whole lot, and Japan needs fish, so empty oceans will cause a decline in Japanese culture, and geeks will get upset.

It was news for nerds after all.

I ceratinly hope (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713331)

That people are considering this a little more dire than 'oh, gee, looks were not having grilled swordfish staeks on the ion-barbie tonight.'

I'm not worried. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713345)

Kirk and crew will just bring some whales from the past.

Boston Commons problems (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713351)

Fish in the open sea are a classic example of a Boston Commons type problem. The problem is that no one owns the fish stocks but everyone takes from them. So its in each player's best interest to pillage as many fish as possible before the other players can get to it. Until someone owns the fish, this problem will only accellerate. For more info, see game theory in mathematics or the B.C. problem in economic theory.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713371)

Kill the humans. All of them.

What does it mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713387)

Really, explain: 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90%.
Numbers with no context are meaningless.

De-FUD-ified for your reading enjoyment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16713405)

a CBS news article
Dan Rather was unavailable for comment.
According to a study by a scientist in Halifax, Nova Scotia
One Canadian goofball
assisted by research from all around the world
wrote a paper with footnotes and everything
the world's oceans will be emptied of large lifeforms by 2048.
That said 'Repent sinner! The end is near!'

Worm? (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16713411)

Boris Worm? Fish?

This joke writes itself.
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