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The pictures tell the whole story

May 13, 2010

Sport fishing in the Florida keys brings in a lot of money and tourists. It’s a competitive sport, so many fishermen like to photograph themselves with their biggest and most prized catch. In fact, fishermen have done this for awhile. Well, now those photographs have become a source of data for environmentalists looking at the health of our oceans and coral reefs. Here are a series of pictures from fishing docks in the Keys, via blogfish:

1957:

1958:

1965-1979:

1980-1985:

2007:

Pretty compelling evidence, right? Big fish, where did you go?

What these photographs, observation and scientific studies are telling us is that our oceans are in trouble. Overfishing, pollution and the warming of our planet have come together with a force that our oceans cannot endure.

Here is a very interesting TED talk by Jeremy Jackson that touches on some of these issues and looks at the three destructive forces — overfishing, pollution and climate change.

I think one of his greatest points is at the end when he states simply, “how are we all going to respond to this”? We’ve been given the warning signals, the information and the ability to do something but the real question is will we? He says, and I agree, that the thing we really need to fix is ourselves.

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