“Marine animals at risk of mass extinction, experts: “In danger larger species”


Human activities are causing unprecedented mass extinction of marine animals, far greater than those that occurred millions of years ago of natural causes. A complaint is an American university Stanford study, published in the journal Science. The most affected species are the large ones, such as cetaceans, which play a vital role inecosystems. Among the most damaging activities oceans stands out intensive fishing.

Scholars have examined 2,497 groups of marine vertebrates and molluscs and compared the number and quality of extinct species in this period with those disappeared in the five major mass extinctions that have marked the history of the Earth. The research team did not find a precedent in the fossil to the current trend in the disappearance of large species.

The lethal intrusion of man – The previous mass extinctions had covered all the marine animals, or you were limited to those of smaller size. “We’ve seen a lot of times – said one of the authors, Noel Heim -. Humans come into a new ecosystem and larger animals are killed first. Marine ecosystems were so far been spared, because until recently It makes humans did not have the technology to fish in the deep sea on an industrial scale “.

Damage to ecosystems of the Earth – To the researchers’ leader, Johnathan Payne, “many large species play a decisive role in the ecosystem and their extinction could lead to ecological effects that would affect the structure and functioning of ecosystems themselves in the future “.

At the risk tuna and cod – The study cites by way ‘of example the disappearance from the coral reefs of large sea snails, without which have multiplied starfish eat coral. Exemplary is also the risk of extinction of tuna and cod, because of over-fishing, which would deprive mankind of an important source of protein.

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