HIGH SEAS FISH: one of the best natural carbon sink

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Fish from the high seas are too valuable to be eaten! By carrying down carbon to the ocean depths, they lessen climate change. This are the results of a study (The High Seas and Us - Understanding the Value of High-Seas Ecosystems) carried out by Rashid Sumaila of the University of British Columbia in Canada and Alex Rogers of the University of Oxford in the UK and commissioned by the Global Ocean Commission.
According to that study, life in the deep seas absorbs 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and buries half a billion tonnes of carbon on the sea bed every year. The two researchers put the value to humanity of life in the high seas - in terms of its ability to sequester carbon - at $148 billion a year, almost ten times the value of high seas fish landings.
Therefore, while countries around the world are struggling to find cost-effective ways to reduce their carbon emissions, the study has found that high seas are a natural system that is doing a good job of it for free.
Clive Trueman of the University of Southampton and colleagues measured ratios of isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the tissues of fish caught at depths between 500 and 1,800 metres to calculate the original sources of food. They found that more than half of these fishes got their energy - their food supply - from fishes that went to the surface. But deep water fish, when they die, stay at depth. Their carbon doesn't get back into the atmospheric system.
So, what is the advice coming from this study?
Fisheries scientists have repeatedly argued that present fishing regimes are not sustainable, and that radical steps must be taken. Callum Roberts, of the University of York, UK, has been making the case for “marine parks”, or undisturbed ocean and shallow water wildernesses, for more than a decade.
The struggle to climate change require firstly the respect for wild ecosystems such High seas ecosystems!

Source: LTEconomy elaboration
LTEconomy, 30th June, 2014
Here you can download the entire report “The High Seas and Us - Understanding the Value of High-Seas Ecosystems:”

Global Ocean Commission:

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