Matt Kitto
Matt Kitto campaign leader

The number of fish, turtles and other wildlife in the world’s oceans has halved in decades, conservationists warn. Overfishing, pollution and changing climate are blamed for the ‘potentially catastrophic’ decline in marine life. And it just has to stop before it is too late and there are no more fish. This story explains that the marine life has halved completely in 45 years after mass overfishing disaster
From the temperate UK waters to tropical coral reefs, the planet’s seas are emptying fast, the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London say.
Species in crisis range from leatherback turtles, ‘monsters of the deep’ that can be seen off the coast of Britain, to the colourful corals of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Living Blue Planet report tracks the fate of more than 1,200 species of marine mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. It found a 49 per cent drop in numbers among the 6,000 populations studied around the world.

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Some declines were even more dramatic, with populations of the Scombridae family of fish, which includes tuna and mackerel, falling by 74 per cent.

Sea cucumbers – animals shaped like the vegetable that are prized as a luxury food but play a vital role in improving water quality – have all but disappeared from the Red Sea. And Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its coral in the last 30 years.

Worldwide, one in four species of shark, ray and skate is threatened with extinction. The porbeagle shark, a favourite with UK anglers, has undergone a ‘precipitous decline’, as has the leatherback turtle. Other species in peril in British waters include puffins, sand eels and sole.

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