Saturday, July 11, 2015

World seabird populations in catastrophic decline - The Scotsman

The Scotsman - Sat 11 July 2015 
ABC Science
 Some of their key assertions:
"WORLD seabird populations have suffered a staggering 70 per cent drop over the last 60 years, according to new international research. "
 "This means around 230 million seabirds have disappeared across the globe since the 1950s."
 "The study, which analysed nearly a fifth of global seabird populations, showed overall numbers declined by 69.6 per cent since the 1950s."
                        The text of the original study can be found at PLOS ONE     
Here is their Fig. 2:
Fig 2

Paleczny M, Hammill E, Karpouzi V, Pauly D (2015) Population Trend of the World’s Monitored Seabirds, 1950-2010. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129342. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129342

I came across a link  to The Scotsman article in the FaceBook group I Friggin Love Jellyfish [You get to see some beautiful jelly fish photos]

For what it is worth below is the response I posted there.

Mark A Peaty As far as I can see there is something that can be done: Feed the Friggin Fish! Sea birds need fish to eat, big fish, marine mammals, and humans need fish to eat and the number of humans is increasing still. Our hominid population will top out at about 11 billion apparently [based on 2 kids per couple which is becoming the trend world wide it seems].

All the above carnivores need fish to eat and those fish need to eat smaller fish, and so forth down the food chain and the smallest fish eat krill and the like and the smallest crustaceans eat phytoplankton.
So, to feed the food chain requires nourishing the phytoplankton and other algae. What those plants need is lots of nutrient laden water. Now the thing which limits the amount of ocean biomass is, IMO, the fact that In The Ocean, Shit Sinks out of the reach of sunlight.
If anyone is disposed to question this simple proposition consider this:
1/ The surface of the ocean is not covered in floating feces, and
2/ the abyssal plain has a layer of mud [AKA "ooze" which has a better sound to it I think] but this layer of oceanic ooze is always thinnest at and near the mid ocean spreading centres and thickest - many metres thick - at those regions of ocean bottom furthest from the spreading centres.
Normally the only way nutrient rich bottom water gets to the surface is when a deep ocean current runs into a continental slope or island chain or when strong cyclonic winds create an upwelling. So what *we* need to do is create lots of artificial upwellings.
That is not rocket science! It just needs *us* to make it happen! It has already been demonstrated that wave power can be successfully harnessed for this task