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  • Pat N self only
    ... Hi, folks, This seemed relevant to our discussions, I borrowed it from another list. /Ernie Rogers Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 11:08:11 -0800 From: Anne
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2005
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      ---------- Forwarded Message ----------

      Hi, folks,

      This seemed relevant to our discussions, I borrowed it from another list.
      /Ernie Rogers

      Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 11:08:11 -0800
      From: Anne Ehrlich <aehrlich@...>

      FYI... sorry, the source was omitted from this posting; most likely the
      Independent or the Guardian.


      >Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 08:56:22 -0800
      >Britannia ruins the waves: how pollution and over-fishing are destroying
      >sea life
      >Fish are changing sex. Species are disappearing as breeding patterns
      >collapse. The food chain is in chaos as temperatures rise, says the first
      >ever major audit of the state of our seas. Severin Carrell reveals what
      >ministers will say on Tuesday about the damage being done to British
      >waters by industry and global warming
      >27 February 2005
      >Britain's seas are seriously ailing and the species that depend on them
      >suffering as never before. The most comprehensive "health check" ever made
      >of the waters around our shores has revealed that, while Britannia once
      >ruled the waves, now it is helping destroy what lives beneath them.
      >Fish stocks are on the brink of collapse. Species are changing sex because
      >of pollution. Dolphins and porpoises are being killed at unprecedented
      >rates. Water temperatures are rising, and the seabed is being destroyed.
      >In a disturbing insight into the state of our seas, the government-led
      >investigation has found clear proof that the seas around the British Isles
      >are already suffering the effects of global warming - threatening the
      >survival of fish such as cod and raising the risk of a sudden,
      >catastrophic change in weather patterns.
      >The study, compiled by the Department for Food, Environment and the
      >Regions (Defra) after 18 months of reviewing all current marine research,
      >found that water temperatures and sea levels are now rising around
      >Britain, while salt levels are dropping because of melting Arctic ice
      >caps. Meanwhile native plankton species - vital to the survival of many
      >fish stocks - are slowly disappearing.
      >This deeply worrying picture has emerged from 900-page report, which is
      >being published by ministers on Tuesday, into the true state of the seas
      >around the British Isles - historically one of the world's richest marine
      >environments. The audit, which has been peer reviewed, reveals how:
      > * sea temperatures have risen by 0.6C a decade, and by up to 1.5C in
      > winter;
      > * sea levels are rising by up to 2mm a year because of melting ice
      > caps and increased rainfall;
      > * sea water is becoming more acidic because of increasing carbon
      > dioxide levels in the air;
      > * fish, such as cod, haddock, herring, blue whiting and sole, are
      > being fished outside safe limits, with cod "in danger of collapse";
      > * common skate and angel shark have disappeared from the Irish Sea and
      > the Channel;
      > * cold-water plankton - the most basic food stuff for young cod and
      > other native species - is moving northwards and being replaced by
      > warm-water plankton;
      > * deep-sea trawlers are harming fish such as orange roughie and
      > anglerfish, and devastating ancient and fragile coral beds off western
      > Scotland;
      > * winter storms are growing more intense and wave heights increasing
      > by 30cm a decade, risking flooding and cliff erosion in regions such as
      > East Anglia, north Wales and southern England;
      > * estuaries such as the Mersey, Clyde and Tees are showing
      > "undesirably high" toxic contamination from heavy metals and chemicals,
      > which has led to flounder and dab showing signs of cancer and suffering
      > sex changes;
      > * a "significant" number of shellfish farms are unsafe and beaches are
      > being closed due to sewage contamination;
      > * massive new offshore windfarms off Wales, north-west England and the
      > South-east pose a "major challenge" to marine life.
      >The document forms a crucial part of a new Government campaign to combat
      >climate change and introduce tough new controls on over-fishing, campaigns
      >that will be stepped up this week.
      >Elliott Morley, the environment minister who oversaw the report, told The
      >Independent on Sunday: "For the dwindling band of doubters, I would really
      >recommend that they look at this report. It demonstrates there are serious
      >problems with climatic change, and we've really got to get a grip on it.
      >The longer we delay taking effective action, the more difficult it will be
      >to turn things around. Even a five-year delay could be significant."
      >He warned that these trends could lead to the weakening of a crucial ocean
      >current and weather system that keeps Britain warm, which is known as the
      >North Atlantic Oscillation and is connected to the Gulf Stream. "This is
      >new. These are the kinds of things which have just appeared on the radar
      >screen." There was, he claimed, an "urgent" need to start preparing an
      >even more sweeping global agreement to cut climate change gases to replace
      >the Kyoto Protocol despite US opposition.
      >The fishing industry would also get a rude shock, he claimed. "This report
      >makes very clear the impact of commercial fishing on the marine ecosystem.
      >We can't go on with these unsustainable levels of fishing. In that
      >respect, it's very powerful."
      >The report, based on 800 pages of scientific analysis, also uses a
      >"traffic light" system to show how the health of the seas in 22 key areas.
      >A healthy "green light" is awarded for only three of them - oil pollution,
      >oil spills and the health of sea mammals such as seals.
      >The most heavily used colour is amber, for 12 areas such as human sewage,
      >radioactivity, salmon farming and chemical pollution, which it claims have
      >"room for improvement". Even so, sea birds are still at risk of death from
      >trawler nets, oil spills and pollution, and salmon farms are still
      >threatening wild salmon with interbreeding and sea lice.
      >The study says that chemical and radioactive releases are getting better,
      >but it warns that some persistent chemicals, such as hormone-disrupting
      >chemicals causing sex changes, are not properly understood or monitored.
      >Farming fertilisers are still causing serious problems for some ports and
      >regions, leading to algeal blooms and unchecked seaweed growth.
      >However, red "warnings" are slapped on seven areas: the collapse of key
      >fish stocks; the unprecedented changes in plankton species; the deaths of
      >dolphins and porpoises from trawler nets; a collapse in some North Sea
      >bird populations due to overfishing of sandeels; the 50 non-native species
      >which have arrived in British waters; the sea life affected by climate
      >change; and the beaches still despoiled by litter.

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