30 Jan '13, 8pm

Overfishing Threatens a Critical Link in the Food Chain

Overfishing Threatens a Critical Link in the Food Chain

© VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images Neatly stacked sardines are on display at a stand in Italy's Slow Fish event in Genoa on May 28, 2011. The fish near the bottom of the aquatic food chain are often overlooked, but they are vital to healthy oceans and estuaries. Collectively known as forage fish, these species—including sardines, anchovies, herrings, and shrimp-like crustaceans called krill—feed on plankton and become food themselves for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Historically, people have eaten many of these fish, too, of course. But as demand for animal protein has soared over the last half-century, more and more forage fish have been caught to feed livestock and farmed fish instead of being eaten by people directly. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that current fishing levels are dangerously high—both for the forage fish themselves and for t...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/overfishing-...

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