What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Seafood off the menu?

Stephen Beard Nov 3, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: By the middle of this century, the world’s supply of seafood could all but disappear. That’s the conclusion of a four-year British study out today. It says commercial fishing as we know it, would be over. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: The study published in Science Magazine is truly alarming.

Seafood stocks have already collapsed in almost one third of the world’s fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating.

Within 40 years, say the scientists, catches will have slumped by more than 90% since 1950.

Over-fishing is partly to blame, says the study, but marine pollution and global warming are also a factor.

Commercial fishing won’t be the only casualty, says Nichola Beaumont , a British scientists involved the research. Coastal communities and their tourism could also be damaged.

NICHOLA BEAUMONT: We’re going to see an increase in toxic blooms in the oceans . More beach closures. Possibly more flooding and more storm events. So it’s a very broad impact that we’ll be seeing.

But this is the worst case scenario, she says. If more of the world’s oceans can be protected, the sharp decline in marine species can be reversed.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.