Back in 2006 ocean scientists published an alarming report on the crisis ocean fish face.
They released data showing that 90% of fish and other ocean life have perished in the last 100 years. 18% of ocean species have been reduced in number by more than 90% with 7% of fish species now extinct.
Even more startling is the projection that, by the year 2048, all the major economic fish species, indeed most higher forms of sea life, will be completely extinct. No more fish will be left to eat. With the annihilation of life in the 70+% of the world that is ocean, the global ocean ecosystems will begin to break down. Many human communities also depend on seafood and scientists fear that the mass extinction will trigger a cascade reaction among all the food chains on the planet.
Now 7 years later the situation has been going from bad to worse. But keep reading as there is a tremendous ray of hope.
Most of the earth’s oxygen supply comes from plant life in the ocean that depends on a delicate balance. So if you can breathe you might thank the plankton.
In the oceans all of sea life depends on ocean plankton pastures where ocean plant life, phytoplankton, grows and feeds everything in the marine food chain.
Walt Whitman, the famous author once said, “All beef is grass.” I say, “All fish is plankton.”
The paper by Worm, Nicola, et al makes it clear that collapsing ocean plant life is a huge part of the problem. Healthy pastures on land sustain animal life and biodiversity and in just the same way ocean pastures sustain marine life and biodiversity.
Researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., noted in a 2006 news press release that, “This isn’t predicted to happen. This is happening now.” “If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all.”
Again back in 2006 media reports trumpeted the outrage at the “usual suspects” list.
“Despite these findings, scientists claim to be optimistic that humans can prevent this catastrophe. According to these scientists, it’s not too late if the human race takes immediate action now.”
“A shutdown or vast restricting of human fishing and consumption of seafood coupled with removal of toxic pollutants could replenish the earth’s fish population within ten years according to some experts in the field of sea life.”
“With mass extinction now a daily fact of life, inaction is not an option.”
As dire as these predictions are and in-spite of the largely single minded focus on “over-fishing,” it is clear that the collapse of ocean fish is far more dependent on the collapse of the carrying capacity of its ocean pastures than on over-fishing. Certainly the largest amount of fishery collapse has been and is due to there being not enough for fish to eat. The observed shrinking size of ocean fish corroborates this malnourishment effect. Surely over-fishing the last of the malnourished fish is an enormous compounding problem.
So before we all just ignore the inevitable and go about our ocean ignoring ways, there is a workable solution that is immediate, effective, and affordable. It is to take on the stewardship of our ocean pastures and to replenish, restore, and sustain those pastures so that they might return to a condition of abundance and bring the fish back.
This has now been demonstrated in what the world has called the largest ocean plankton pasture restoration project in history. And IT JUST WORKS!
In a project with more than 6 years in planning and execution a large ocean plankton pasture in the NE Pacific was replenished with an infinitesimal amount of mineral micro-nutrient iron. The amount used in the experiment was 120 tonnes of the raw product. Much of it simple iron ore rock dust. Painstakingly administered into what became more than 30,000 square kilometres of ocean the vital and missing minerals brought an ocean desert back to life. The amount of dust applied to that area was less than the volume of a single grain of salt in a cubic meter of ocean plankton pasture water.
Intensive at sea studies over months from the ocean pasture research ship have been followed up with months of analysis of the more than 168 million measurements made of the pasture and surrounding environment. Spectacular results were measured in growth of all forms of ocean life on the restored pasture.