The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.
In a new report, they warn that ocean life is "at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history". They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised. The impacts, they say, are already affecting humanity.
The panel was convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), and brought together experts from different disciplines, including coral reef ecologists, toxicologists, and fisheries scientists. Its report will be formally released later this week. "The findings are shocking," said Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director and professor of conservation biology at Oxford University. - BBC.
In addition to this, according to a huge new international study by 17 different science institutes has declared that the the global warming of sea waters is causing the biggest movement of marine species in two million years.
Among the changes recorded by scientists contributing to Project Clamer is the fact that huge blooms of a venomous warm-water species of jellyfish are massing in the North Atlantic.
The Pelagia noctiluca 'dominates in many areas and outbreaks have become an annual event, forcing the closing of beaches,' says the report. 'This form of jellyfish is a gluttonous predator of juvenile fish, so researchers consider its spread a harmful trend.' However, there was further bad news as the report also warned that the highly-venomous Portuguese Man O'War is also moving closer. Physalia physalis, a jellyfish-like creature usually found in subtropical waters, is more regularly being discovered in northern Atlantic waters. The research is to be published this year by Project Clamer, a major collaboration between 17 institutes on climate change and the oceans.WATCH: Warning - All marine life are at a high risk of extinction.
Among the other discoveries in worldwide waters, it was noted that aa 43-foot gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year. Scientists came to a startling conclusion that it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier. On a microscopic level, scientists also have found plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years. - Daily Mail.