Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Our Seas Are Being Degraded. Fish Are Dying, but Human Life is Threatened Too | Callum Roberts

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

Our seas are being degraded. Fish are dying, but human life is threatened too | Callum Roberts

“A definitive study released last week found that the amount of wildlife in our oceans has fallen by half in 45 years. Academic and marine expert Callum Roberts says there is still time to reverse this decline by closing areas to fishing.  Conger eels, now generally found hiding around wrecks, were once a common catch.  Conger eels, now generally found hiding around wrecks, were once a common catch. Photograph: Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

“Sardines were once extraordinarily abundant in the south-west of England, leading one 19th-century guidebook to say: “Pursued by predaceous hordes of dogfish, hake and cod, and greedy flocks of seabirds, they advance towards the land in such amazing numbers as actually to impede the passage of vessels and to discolour the sea as far as the eye can reach … Of a sudden they will vanish from view and then again approach the coast in such compact order and overwhelming force that numbers will be pushed ashore by the moving hosts in the rear. In 1836 a shoal extended in a compact body from Fowey to the Land’s End, a distance of at least 100 miles if we take into consideration the windings of the shore.” (Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall, John Murray and Thomas Clifton Paris, 1851).

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