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Ocean Life Of Ages Past Boggle Modern Imagination With Incredible Sizes, Abundance And Distribution

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  • Paul Jenkin
    File under Shifting Baselines: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090524170641.htm Ocean Life Of Ages Past Boggle Modern Imagination With
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2009
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      File under "Shifting Baselines:"

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090524170641.htm

      Ocean Life Of Ages Past Boggle Modern Imagination With Incredible
      Sizes, Abundance And Distribution

      ScienceDaily (May 25, 2009) — Before oil hunters in the early 1800s
      harpooned whales by the score, the ocean around New Zealand teemed
      with about 27,000 southern right whales - roughly 30 times as many as
      today - according to one of several astonishing reconstructions of
      ocean life in olden days to be presented at a Census of Marine Life
      conference May 26-28.

      Oceans Past II Conference, 2009

      * International scientists arriving in Vancouver for the second
      Oceans Past conference (May 26-28, hosted by the University of British
      Columbia), will share such other surprises as these:
      * Human fishing and impacts on near-shore and island marine life
      - including the catching of shellfish, finfish and other marine
      mammals - apparently began in many parts in the Middle Stone Age -
      300,000 to 30,000 years ago - 10 times earlier than previously believed;
      * Passages of Latin and Greek verse written in 2nd century CE
      suggest Romans began trawling with nets;
      * In the early to mid 1800s, years of overfishing followed by
      extreme weather collapsed a European herring fishery. Then, the
      jellyfish that herring had preyed upon flourished, seriously altering
      the food web;
      * In the mid 1800s, periwinkle snails and rockweed migrated from
      England to Nova Scotia on the rocks ships carried as ballast - the tip
      of an "invasion iceberg" of species brought to North America;
      * In less than 40 years, Philippine seahorses plunged to just 10%
      of their original abundance, reckoned in part through fishers' reports
      of each having caught up to 200 in a night in the early days of that
      fishery.
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