Find Out Why the Dropping Fish Population Has Scientists Worried
The world’s fish population has seen better days. All over the world, fish are turning up dead in canals, beaches, and rivers. Such a massive change in the fish population has a lot of environmentalists and scientists concerned. This is far from an isolated incident. Fish are dying by the tens of thousands in some parts of the world. Find out what this means for the earth as a whole.
A Lack of Oxygen
Fish need high levels of oxygen in the water to breathe and survive. A number of different scenarios can lead to decreasing oxygen levels. Urban environments tend to see a drop-off in the local plant population, disrupting oxygen levels in local bodies of water. Chemical leaks and environmental pollution can also hurt the fish population. Changes in climate can also be a concern. Prolonged drought, especially in areas such as California, can reduce water levels and lead to fish overcrowding in ponds and rivers. When there’s too many fish in a certain area, there’s simply not enough oxygen to go around.
A Changing Ecosystem
Fish are the backbone of the food chain. Mammals, sharks, and whales all depend on fish as their main source of food. When something happens to the fish, that’s bad news for the rest of the animal kingdom. We could see a dramatic drop-off in the population of dozens of different species over the next couple of years. Bears, birds, and other land animals will have to find other ways to secure food. Some will travel greater distances to find more fish, disrupting animal communities in a way that could decease birth rates among other species. Other animals will start to hunt for food in surprising places, taking food away from other animals and even hunting for humans in some more densely populated areas. Overall, fewer fish means less food for every living thing on the planet.
Putting It All Together
So many countries all over the world depend on fish for food, including many third-world countries throughout South America and Asia. These areas will be the first to suffer as they watch one of their main sources of food slip away. The fishing industry all over the world is expected to struggle, hurting the economy in coastal areas such as New England, California, and near the Gulf of Mexico. With dozens of animal populations in jeopardy, many of us will be stuck paying more for food at the grocery store. We might see governments investing more of their money in alternative food sources, such as genetically modified food and isolated fish farms.
If you’re worried about the local fish population, you can contact your local or state representative and tell them to focus more of their resources on the environment.
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