18 Jul '11, 5pm

One company could destroy the ocean ecosystem

Omega Protein, Inc. (a company you've never heard of) is quickly overfishing the Atlantic menhaden (a species you've never heard of). As a result, a number of fish that you have heard of -- striped bass, bluefish, tuna, dolphin, seatrout, and mackerel -- as well as the ocean ecosystem as a whole, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Long Island Sound (which you’ve heard of) are suffering. Menhaden are tiny, bony, oily fish that humans can't eat, but which, according to marine scientists, are "the most important fish in the sea." Menhaden are the main consumers of phytoplankton, and without them, areas like the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound are clogged with algae. They are also a staple food for bigger, tastier fish, who, deprived of menhaden, are growing sad and malnourished. In the past 25 years, the menhaden population has shrunk from 160 billion to about 20 billion, Aliso...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-07-18-how-a-company-youve-...

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