Research NewsMarine Ecology

Overfishing Disrupts Entire Ecosystems

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Science  06 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5352, pp. 809
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5352.809

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A new study appearing on page 860 of this issue of Science concludes that in spite of bans on fishing in certain areas and quotas that limit takes in others, humans are inexorably fishing down marine food webs as larger and more commercially valuable species disappear, creating impoverished, less valuable ecosystems. Fisheries experts say the findings indicate that more such protected areas must be created if there is to be any chance of salvaging vanishing ecosystems. (Also see Research Commentary on p. 821.)