Cape Cod’s namesake fish population rapidly disappearing
There aren’t enough cod left on Cape Cod.
That soon becomes evident to the tourists crowding an observation deck to watch fishermen unload their boats in this picturesque harbor sheltered from the ocean by sandy dunes.
Today’s catch: pounds of skate, a fish that looks like a sting ray until fishermen catch it, when they cut off its wings and throw the body back into the water. The skate wings, white triangular pieces of flesh trailed by streams of blood, slide down ramps onto the loading dock.
“Eeeewww,” says 5-year-old Felix Haight. “It looks like raspberry jelly,” he adds, as his mother wrinkles her nose.
The next boat brings in dogfish, which looks like a mix between a shark and a lizard, and is no more appealing to the tourists.
For generations, the fish sliding down this ramp would have been cod, a ground fish that has been caught in these parts since the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, and before. But for reasons that scientists are still trying to determine, the cod population, shrinking for decades, dropped off precipitously in the last few years.
Pacific tuna stocks on the brink of disaster, warns outgoing fisheries head Glenn Hurry
The Australian who heads fishery management in the Western and Central Pacific has warned an international agreement is urgently needed to avert disaster for the tuna industry.
Professor Glenn Hurry said bluefin and bigeye tuna should no longer be harvested, as stocks were dangerously depleted.
He also warned “serious action” needed to be taken to reduce the yellowfin tuna catch.
“Yellowfin tuna’s down to about 38 per cent of its original spawning biomass,” said Professor Hurry, the outgoing executive director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
“Bigeye tuna’s down now to about 16 per cent.
“In any sense in a well-managed fishery you’d actually stop fishing on that and begin to rebuild the stocks.”
Professor Hurry said the situation for bluefin tuna was even more dire, with the Pacific population at “3 or 4 per cent of its original spawning biomass”.
“It’s at a level where you shouldn’t be fishing,” he said.
We’ve all heard about the dangers of climate change on world food security, but by 2050 our ability to produce food may be lowered by up to 10% due to rising air pollution, according to new research published byNature Climate Change.
“Human activities have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere by over 30% during the past 200 years and this figure is expected to double by the end of the century,” says lead author Arnold Bloom. “Our report found this change in air pollution inhibits the growth of field-grown wheat by 10%.”
According to Bloom, air pollution will affect both urban and rural farming alike. Field-grown wheat is a staple crop for most developing countries, so if not addressed these findings show food security will suffer more than previously predicted. Adding to the crisis, worldwide food demand is set to rise by 50% in 2050.
“Climate change is already making people hungry,” says Robin Willoughby, Oxfam UK‘s policy adviser on food. “Rising temperatures and increasingly extreme and erratic weather patterns are making it harder to grow enough food to eat. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to get worse, placing an additional burden for our humanitarian work as droughts and flooding become more frequent. Climate change threatens to put the fight to eradicate hunger back by decades.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – On the outskirts of the slums of Pakistan’s biggest city, protesters burning tires and throwing stones have what sounds like a simple demand: They want water at least once a week.
But that’s anything but in Karachi, where people go days without getting water from city trucks, sometimes forcing them to use groundwater contaminated with salt. A recent drought has only made the problem worse. And as the city of roughly 18 million people rapidly grows, the water shortages are only expected to get worse.
During the last three months they haven’t supplied a single drop of water in my neighborhood,” protester Yasmeen Islam said. “It doesn’t make us happy to come on the roads to protest but we have no choice anymore.”
Karachi gets most of its water from the Indus River – about 550 million gallons per day – and another 100 million gallons from the Hub Dam that is supplied by water from neighboring Baluchistan province. But in recent years, drought has hurt the city’s supply.
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