Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities

@article{Myers2003RapidWD,
  title={Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities},
  author={Ransom A. Myers and Boris Worm},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2003},
  volume={423},
  pages={280-283}
}
Serious concerns have been raised about the ecological effects of industrialized fishing, spurring a United Nations resolution on restoring fisheries and marine ecosystems to healthy levels. However, a prerequisite for restoration is a general understanding of the composition and abundance of unexploited fish communities, relative to contemporary ones. We constructed trajectories of community biomass and composition of large predatory fishes in four continental shelf and nine oceanic systems… 

Extinction, survival or recovery of large predatory fishes

  • R. MyersB. Worm
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2005
TLDR
It is concluded that management of multi–species fisheries needs to be tailored to the most sensitive, rather than the more robust species, to initiate recovery of severely depleted communities.

Unexpected patterns of fisheries collapse in the world's oceans

TLDR
This work analyzed two fisheries datasets to determine the life-history traits of species that have suffered dramatic population collapses, and suggests that up to twice as many fisheries for small, low trophic-level species have collapsed compared with those for large predators.

SHIFTS IN OPEN‐OCEAN FISH COMMUNITIES COINCIDING WITH THE COMMENCEMENT OF COMMERCIAL FISHING

We identify changes in the pelagic fish community of the tropical Pacific Ocean by comparing recent data collected by observers on longline fishing vessels with data from a 1950s scientific survey

Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages

In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing

Marine fisheries as ecological experiments

TLDR
To highlight the value of marine fisheries data, a review of leading ecological theories that have been empirically tested using such data is reviewed and two barriers to use of fisheries data to answer ecological questions are addressed.

Dietary niche expansion of a kelp forest predator recovering from intense commercial exploitation.

TLDR
Examining historical diet data and a time series of benthic community composition, it is concluded that changes in dietary niche breadth are more likely due to the recovery of size structure from fishing than major shifts in prey availability.

Ecological repercussions of historical fish extraction from the Southern Ocean

A major mid-1980s shift in ecological structure of significant portions of the Southern Ocean was partially due to the serial depletion of fish by intensive industrial fishing, rather than solely to

Analysis of Large Predator Populations in the Line Islands

Human disturbance and reef health are inextricably linked. Specifically, the biomass of predators in a marine ecosystem has been identified as an indicator of overall reef health. Less affected reefs

Fishery-Independent Data Reveal Negative Effect of Human Population Density on Caribbean Predatory Fish Communities

TLDR
This study analyzed presence and diversity of predatory reef fishes over a gradient of human population density across the greater Caribbean region to fill a fundamentally important gap in knowledge of the ecosystem effects of artisanal fisheries in developing nations.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 65 REFERENCES

Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems

Ecological extinction caused by overfishing precedes all other pervasive human disturbance to coastal ecosystems, including pollution, degradation of water quality, and anthropogenic climate change.

LARGE-SCALE DISTURBANCE AND THE STRUCTURE OF MARINE SYSTEMS: FISHERY IMPACTS ON GEORGES BANK

TLDR
The arrival of distant water fleets during the early 1960s resulted in dramatic increases in effective fishing effort and the subsequent commercial collapse of several fish populations, resulting in further declines in groundfish populations on Georges Bank.

WHY DO FISH STOCKS COLLAPSE? THE EXAMPLE OF COD IN ATLANTIC CANADA

In 1993, six Canadian populations of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) had collapsed to the point where a moratorium was declared on fishing. It has been argued that the collapses were caused by poor

Broadbill swordfish: status of established fisheries and lessons for developing fisheries

Guidelines for the assessment and management of developing swordfish fisheries are derived through an examination of five swordfish fisheries. As they develop, swordfish fisheries may be inclined to

Primary production required to sustain global fisheries

THE mean of reported annual world fisheries catches for 1988-1991 (94.3 million t) was split into 39 species groups, to which fractional trophic levels, ranging from 1.0 (edible algae) to 4.2

Ecosystem structure before fishing

Fishing down marine food webs

TLDR
The mean trophic level of the species groups reported in Food and Agricultural Organization global fisheries statistics declined from 1950 to 1994, and results indicate that present exploitation patterns are unsustainable.

Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries.

  • D. Pauly
  • Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1995

META-ANALYSIS OF COD-SHRIMP INTERACTIONS REVEALS TOP-DOWN CONTROL IN OCEANIC FOOD WEBS

TLDR
The results show that changes in predator populations can have strong effects on prey populations in oceanic food webs, and that the strength of these interactions may be sensitive to changes in mean ocean temperature.

Consumer versus resource control of species diversity and ecosystem functioning

TLDR
The effects of consumers and nutrients on diversity consistently depend on each other, and that the direction of their effects and peak diversity shift between sites of low and high productivity, suggesting human impacts on nutrient supply and food-web structure have strong and interdependent effects on species diversity and ecosystem functioning, and must therefore be managed together.
...