The ocean's species have been in decline for centuries, but losses have sped up in recent years, said lead author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And if something doesn't change, in a few decades every viable fishery will have collapsed, their catch having declined by 90 percent or more.
"The loss of species from the ocean is not only harming the ecosystem, it is also harming our own human well-being — our economy, our food supply and our health," Worm said.
The team analyzed 32 previous experiments from around the world that tested the effects on ecosystems when species were removed. The studies all showed species loss led to declines in productivity and stability of the ecosystems.
"We were really surprised, to some extent shocked,by the consistency of the results — how everything fit together at the variable scales, how the different pieces seemed to match together almost perfectly," Worm said. The study appears in the journal Science today.
Source: Inside Bay Area