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    Ocean Alert

    June 29, 2011 2 min read

    For those out there doubting this fact still: it is not going all too well with the state of our oceans, as a panel of international experts pointed out again last week.According to a new report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), pollution and overfishing are threatening marine species at such a fast rate that a 'catastrophic extinction event is inevitable'. International marine experts came together in April for a workshop at Oxford University last week and their chilling conclusion was released this week: the oceans of the world are in great danger and humankind is to blame.

    Unlike what many people like to believe, the effects will already be noticeable in our lifetime. For our children's and coming generations it will be even more grim. As the IPSO report explains: "There are zones in the oceans that are basically dead due to 'anoxia', the absence of oxygen, and 'hypoxia', low oxygen levels." This means no fish or coral can survive there and ecosystems collapse.

    Scary outlook Now, if you take into account that oceans cover three-quarters of our planet and sustain all life on Earth, this is a rather scary outlook. The ocean's absorb nearly all the excess heat in the atmosphere that we produce and overfishing has wiped out some fish populations by more than 90 percent. Fish and birds are also affected by swallowing plastic waste that is floating around in the oceans.

    "The findings are shocking," said Alex Rogers, scientific director of IPSO. "As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the ocean, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised. This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level.

    Click here for a short summary of the IPSO State of the Oceans Report