Fwd: Science Cover Story on Marine Extinctions Further Supports Newly Introduced Fi

Alina M. Szmant szmanta at uncwil.edu
Sat Jul 28 21:35:32 EDT 2001

>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 15:48:32 -0400
>From: mfcn-fishlink <fishserver at igc.org>
>Subject: Science Cover Story on Marine Extinctions Further Supports Newly
>  Introduced Fi
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>Science Cover Story on Marine Extinctions Further Supports Newly Introduced
>Fisheries Recovery Act
>WASHINGTON (July 27, 2001)- "Ecological extinction caused by overfishing
>precedes all other pervasive human disturbance to coastal ecosystems,"
>begins a new study published today in the journal Science.  The study
>identifies overfishing as the cause, historically and currently, of many of
>the problems facing coastal ecosystems and provides additional scientific
>support for new legislation that would end overfishing and other
>destructive fishing practices.
>"It is abundantly clear from our research that if we don't take an
>ecosystem approach to managing ocean resources, we will be doomed to repeat
>past mistakes," said Dr. Jeremy Jackson, the lead author of the study. "The
>historical record we studied abounds with examples of ecologically
>important organisms, such as sea urchins and oysters, being lost before
>their role in sustaining healthy ecosystems was understood."
>Drawing from paleoecological, archeological and historical data, the study
>finds that centuries of overfishing of our oceans have triggered current
>ecological collapses.  The study also found clear evidence that recent
>improvements in fishing technology have accelerated and amplified
>overfishing problems.  The international panel of scientists involved in
>the two-year project identified overfishing as more destructive than
>"pollution, degradation of water quality and anthropogenic climate change."
>"This study shows, through hard scientific evidence, what many of us have
>long feared: our oceans and marine resources are in a crisis of our own
>making," said Lee Crockett, Executive Director of the Marine Fish
>Conservation Network. "Fortunately, legislation, introduced last week can
>turn the tide on this historic trend of overfishing, by closing the
>loopholes in current fisheries law and putting the conservation of our
>ocean resources first.  While this crisis was centuries in the making, we
>do not have centuries, or even decades to solve it. We must act now to
>bring ocean ecosystems and the fish and fisheries that depend on them back
>to sustainable levels."
>The Network supports passage of the Fisheries Recovery Act 2001, H.R. 2570,
>introduced July 19 by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), which already has more than 20
>co-sponsors. In conjunction with the bill's introduction, the Network also
>released an analysis showing that 31 species of federally managed ocean
>fish are currently at risk of extinction.
>"If we want to conserve America's marine resources for future generations,
>we must first be willing to accept the evidence that our oceans are being
>overexploited." said Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA). "Current scientific
>research is making it very clear that we must stop asking if there is a
>problem and start asking when and how we can turn things around."
>The Fisheries Recovery Act of 2001 would close loopholes in current
>fisheries law to:
>·       Stop overfishing,
>·       Avoid the killing of non-target ocean wildlife,
>·       Protect ocean ecosystems,
>·       Protect fish habitat from damaging fishing gear and practices,
>·       Fund the introduction of less damaging fishing gear and practices, and
>·       Fund improved research and reporting, including fisheries observers.
>NOTE:  Dr. Jeremy Jackson, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San
>Diego, convened the international team of scientists at the National Centre
>of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California. To reach
>Dr. Jackson call (858) 518-7613. To request the Science report titled
>Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems, call
>202-326-6440 or email scipak at aaas.org
>The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a nationwide coalition of 110
>environmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishing
>associations, aquariums and marine science groups, dedicated to promoting
>the long-term sustainability of marine fish. The Network represents five
>million people.
>For further information and graphics please visit
>www.seaweb.org/ScienceJuly27.html and www.conservefish.org.
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