The oceans are in serious trouble. Stocks of commercially important fish have collapsed in many areas. Reefs have been dying at an alarming rate. The water is warming and acidifying. Ecosystems are shifting in unpredictable ways.
Click highlighted links in the list below to find out more information on some of these crises.
Electronic trash trawled up from 3000m deep,
40 miles off Monterey, CA.
Acidification: The other CO2 problem: CO2 forms carbonic acid when it dissolves in water. This is already starting to affect marine life; for example, acid dissolves calcium carbonate, the mineral of seashells and corals.
See this news story .
Reefs: Worldwide, coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate (reefs as we know them may be gone in 50 years!); causes include acidification from carbon dioxide, global warming, tourism, fisheries (including dynamite and cyanide fishing)
Eutrophication of coastal waters, and outbreaks of viral diseases and mysterious toxic algae such as
Low Frequency Active Sonar: New evidence has arisen that the navy's testing of its Low Frequency Active Sonar can trigger mass beaching and dying of whales. See Epipelagic page for the most recent evidence (scroll to the bottom of that page. See also the 26-Jan-01 issue of Science p576.
Ozone hole over Antarctica is letting in excess UV light;
2006 evidence shows that this is affecting the marine ecosystem .
Is there any hope? Recent studies on MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) show that setting aside such reserves can help restore fisheries in nearby waters. Information on other efforts can be found below.