Sea Bird Plunders
Overfishing is such a destructive force upon the ecosystem of the oceans that the seabird populations are dropping to dangerous levels. The main problem is called a trophic cascade where the population of one species in a food chain affects the relationship of the entire ecosystem. The result of an international study spanning 450 years of observations published by science magazine says that the fish populations directly affect the seabird populations. The study investigates the relationship between predators and preys in seven ecosystems. Researchers where noticing trophic cascades where overfishing had effected the ecosystem.
What is occurring is that the prey of seabirds such as herring, sardines, and anchovies are being overfished to unsustainable levels to repopulate. The levels are so low that seabird population can’t find enough fish for themselves. So naturally the lack in food for seabirds leads to the bird population dropping. Furthermore these overfished stocks are being used as bait and nutrients at fish farms. How can we consider the operation of depleting a primary prey species for seabirds to insure sustainable fish farms as a sustainable practice? I thought the whole premise of a fish farm was to counteract overfishing practices but instead we seem to be integrating overfishing into fish farming. Somehow it all seems like one sick joke and the seabirds are the punch line.