Sylvia Earle: ‘We’re seeing a decline of 90 percent of many of the big fish species’

Sylvia Earle: This is the time, as never before, that the systems that do safeguard and give us life are in trouble. And that means we’re in trouble.

Sylvia Earle is a renowned deep sea diver, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and former Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. When Earle spoke with EarthSky, she spoke on behalf of grasslands, streams, rivers – and especially for the sea.

Sylvia Earle: We’re talking about our life-support system here. The natural world is really showing signs of wear and tear, desperate signs in many cases. In the ocean, we’re seeing a decline in 50 years of 90 percent of many of the big fish species, the sharks, the tunas, the swordfish, the grouper, the snapper — creatures that when I was a kid were thought to be essentially limitless in their capacity to recover, no matter how many we took.

Earle calls human beings Earth’s most relentless predator for the ocean’s large fish. And yet – while time is running out for many fish species – she’s still hopeful.

Sylvia Earle: The good news is that we now know this, and we have a chance. And we should take heart in that. We should be excited that of all the people who have ever lived on the planet, we have an unprecedented chance to make a difference, to turn things around._

Thanks today to NOAA, and to Sylvia Earle.

Our thanks to:
Sylvia Earle
Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic
Chair, Council of Advisors
Harte Research Institute
Corpus Christi, TX

August 25, 2008

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