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Posted Wed May 5 2010: from BBC:
'Profound' decline in fish stocks shown in UK records
Over-fishing means UK trawlers have to work 17 times as hard for the same fish catch as 120 years ago, a study shows. Researchers used port records dating from the late 1800s, when mechanised boats were replacing sailing vessels. In the journal Nature Communications, they say this implies "an extrordinary decline" in fish stocks and "profound" ecosystem changes. Four times more fish were being landed in UK ports 100 years ago than today, and catches peaked in 1938. "Over a century of intensive trawl fishing has severely depleted UK seas of bottom living fish like halibut, turbot, haddock and plaice," said Simon Brockington, head of conservation at the Marine Conservation Society and one of the study's authors.... "If you get a 50 percent increase from 2 percent of a species' former abundance, you get to 3 percent of its former abundance, so you shouldn't celebrate too hard," he said. "That's why this perspective is important."
[Read more stories about: economic myopia, overfishing, short-term thinking]

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