VOA Interview with author Callum Roberts

Oh in recent decades commercial fishers have been known to indiscriminately cast their nets in oceans of fewer fish a marine conservation study reports that it is the legacy of overfishing the collapse of coral life and the slow death of estuary habitats professor column Roberts of the University of York in England conducted a comprehensive study of historic and literary notes about once abundant sea life and its relentless exploitation in his book the unnatural history of the sea Roberts concluded that overfishing is not new but can be found even at the dawn of commercial fishing more than 1,000 years ago over time we've gradually expanded the reach of fishing out across the world oceans until today we take in nearly everywhere to depths of 2,000 perhaps 3,000 meters in some cases under the sea the marine conservation scholar points to the common technique of commercial fishing known as bottom trawling in which Fisher's drag the ocean floor with nets or other devices he says it is one cause of the extinction of hundreds of ocean species Roberts sites United Nations studies indicating that sixty percent of the population of fish that we eat has collapsed since the 1950s sixty percent of those fish species have collapsed since the 1950s now some of them are in recovery but most of them are not and if you look at the cumulative number of fish stocks that are collapsed and you project that into the future it suggests that all of the fish stocks that we exploit today will have collapsed by 2050 the author offers examples of the decline of many species and others that are nearly gone such as tuna swordfish and the leatherback turtle in the Pacific Ocean the leather by its a largest living reptile on the planet it has a hundred million year evolutionary history but nothing in that hundred million years prepared it for long line Fisher's Roberts also expressed the urgent need to rebuild fish populations if you protect an area from fishing the fish become more numerous and they grow much larger and big fish produce many many more offspring than small fish do so a big red snapper of say 10 kilograms can produce 200 times as many fish as a red snapper of one kilogram professor Robert says that only by protecting the oceans can mankind establish a more sustainable future in order to feed the growing human population we have to create areas of habitat areas of the sea in which life can re-establish itself ecosystems can recover their health from the centuries of overfishing that has preceded us the marine conservationist says people have rendered the oceans incapable of responding to challenges of global warming but he sees encouraging signs of a growing commitment to protect crucial ocean habitats for producers zulima Palacio this is Barry would do a news

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