Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048


The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.

That’s when the world’s oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, – with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama – was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world.

The researchers analyzed several different kinds of data. Even to these ecology-minded scientists, the results were an unpleasant surprise.

“I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are – beyond anything we suspected,” Worm says in a news release.

“This isn’t predicted to happen. This is happening now,” study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

“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,” Beaumont adds.

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 disastrousconsequences,” Worm and colleagues say.

The researchers analyzed data from 32 experiments on different marine environments.

They then analyzed the 1,000-year history of 12 coastal regions around the world, including San Francisco and Chesapeake bays in the U.S., and the Adriatic, Baltic, and North seas in Europe.

Next, they analyzed fishery data from 64 large marine ecosystems.

And finally, they looked at the recovery of 48 protected ocean areas.

Their bottom line: Everything that lives in the ocean is important. The diversity of ocean life is the key to its survival. The areas of the ocean with the most different kinds of life are the healthiest.
But the loss of species isn’t gradual. It’s happening fast – and getting faster, the researchers say.

Worm and colleagues call for sustainable fisheries management, pollution control, habitat maintenance, and the creation of more ocean reserves.

This, they say, isn’t a cost; it’s an investment that will pay off in lower insurance costs, a sustainable fish industry, fewer natural disasters, human health, and more.

“It’s not too late. We can turn this around,” Worm says. “But less than 1% of the global ocean is effectively protected right now.”

Worm and colleagues report their findings in the Nov. 3 issue of Science.


This news is terrifying. We could add more worm to their diet. This might save everyone some money and unnecessary worry.


I find it very hard to worry about stuff that is so long away.



It’s really, really, really not very long away. That’s reason alone to worry!


I don’t doubt or affirm the study but in a way, I’d say people don’t eat all that much seafood to begin with. So the study results are interesting. Are they saying we should eat less fish? Many of us don’t eat fish very often to begin with.

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

And the article mentions the problem of the high populations on the coast, so I guess those people can move inland.

  1. Don’t eat fish
  2. Don’t live on the coast.

Okay, I’m doing my part.


And to think that this all started when Catholics stopped eating meat on Friday’s.

But more seriously, at the rate that the oceans are acidifying by surface water interaction with greenhouse gases, overfishing may not be the largest concern. If nothing is done to stop our air pollution, the oceans will die from that. There was a collaborative worldwide study a few years back to determine if acidification was only a surface phenomena, or whether the changing surface water was being carried to the depths. The findings were that seawater is being acidified to great depths worldwide.

As Worm has pointed out, all of these effects are happening at much faster rates than one predicts. If recent history with other phenomena are analogs, then his 35 year prediction could very well be more like 10-15 years. It is quite alarming how fast this is all happening. Every time scientists think that they have some understanding of the time frame, then new data shows that they significantly underestimated the rapidity of these events.

Oh, and since phytoplankton in the oceans produce more than 50 percent, and perhaps as much as 80 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere, then don’t count on breathing, if Worm and others are correct in their predictions.

Don’t worry about where you should live. If current trends continue unabated, then the oceans will die and it will be difficult for most of the world to find any potable water. If you think that the worsening storms are a problem now, imagine what they will be like if the seawater that feeds them is toxic. It’s not clear how weather systems will be affected in the future, but I can’t imagine that acidified and toxic oceans will make precipitation a better source of fresh water.


Historically speaking, dire warnings of future disasters never come to pass.
We have seen the predictions of the coming ice age.
Then the predictions of Global warming destroying us.
And let’s not forget the population bomb.

Man plans, God laughs.


If we pollute our oceans, this will happen…maybe not in 2048…but some day.


From the same scientists who predicted “global cooling” back in the mid-1970’s?


And the same scientists and Al Gore warned the temperatures would rise by 7-8 degrees and the Ice Caps would completely melt by 2010. It is now actually cooler than when they made their erroneous predictions.

They are driven by a political agenda, not science, and they don’t know what they are talking about.


Somebody take down every name that signed on to this utter claptrap. When the date comes and the ocean is still thick with fish, I say we both eliminate everything they ever wrote from the academic record, but strip them of their degrees AND strip the degrees from everyone who received their phd based on work done studying under them.

This sort of attention gathering alarmist nonsense should be utterly expunged from the scientific community. The best way to get there is “put up or shut up.”


Herein lies the greatest damage down by the excessive claims of MMGW advocates-- they’ve undermined the credibility of other environmental researchers. Without looking at the science behind the study, I’ve no way of knowing if there’s truth to them. But you can see the affect that prior forecasters of doom have wrought. The boy who cried wolf.


Dr. Worm seemed to have articles about Sharks I found, may look into that one later on.


Just by reading the article, I can see all sorts of reasons why that will not come to pass. Remember, we should all be floating ice cubes by now. :rotfl:

Also, one ought to see how the renewable energy infrastructure is damaging the environment.

Note they wanted to stress a main culprit as being GHG emissions. :rolleyes: I’m sure that’s a cry to get the American federal government and the UN to start restricting freedom.


Abort the babies but save the fishies!

The world is upside down.

There are vast areas of ocean never fished yet. The fishing industry will simply fish for other species. I hear snakehead is very good meat but that is fresh water, so we eat something else.

God forbid we start growing more fish in inland commercial fish farms. Oh, no, that cant happen.


Let them eat cake.


And if a Comet smacks into the earth we are all going to die-maybe not by 2048 but some day…


And as I see it, God will NEVER let humanity go extinct or let this planet become too hostile to Human life.

All this mass extinction/ecological doomsday stuff is old smoke.


Science it the new religion. We have seen enough false prophets come and go to know that predictions such as this are only slightly better than relying on astrology or a Magic Eight Ball.

Now the facts behind the predictions do bear attention, and we should engage in all we can to avoid pollution of the ocean. We can be faithful stewards of the environment and still ignore the screwball stuff.


I think they feel compelled to tack on Global Warming as the cause regardless.
In this case, it’s 100% driven by over fishing and lack of fisheries management.

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