We've Apparently Lost Half the Fish in the Ocean in the Last 45 Years

In Depth

Well, shit.

Via Mashable, a new study from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London indicates that the worldwide fish population is, uh…not doing well. Between 1970 and 2012, the global population of fish dropped by 49%, while the Scombridae family (the one containing tuna, mackerel, and bonito) has dropped by 70%. It’s worth noting that the study has not been peer-reviewed, so…there’s that, maybe? Let me cling to a few shreds of hope, here.

The study apparently tracked 5,829 populations of 1,234 species of fish and pointed to a combination of overfishing and climate change as the cause of our rapidly declining piscine population. Both rising temperatures and rising oceanic acidity levels have contributed to the decline, although humanity eating the living fuck out of the ocean’s bounty (and come on, can you blame us?) certainly hasn’t helped.

The WWF recommends The People’s Elbow* creating Marine Protected Areas (doable, although poaching would still be an issue), addressing climate change at the national level (HAHAHAHAHA *cries*), and sustainably sourcing food wherever possible (what, you’re expecting us to keep corporations from viciously exploiting global resources for short-term gain at the cost of widespread long-term devastation and an incalculable toll in human lives? YOU COMMUNIST!). So, yeah, we’re basically fucked.

If anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here in the corner, curled up in a ball and sobbing while repeating the words “synthetic fish, synthetic fish, oh God please synthetic fish” over and over and trying to keep from hanging myself.

* I’m sorry, I’ve been wanting to make this joke for YEARS.

Image via Steffen Foerster/Shutterstock.

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