The Global Loss of Top Predators in the Ocean: Consequences of a World Without Sharks, Tuna, and Great Fish

Ransom Myers
Ocean Studies, Dalhousie University

(February 7, 2006 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM)

The Global Loss of Top Predators in the Ocean: Consequences of a World Without Sharks, Tuna, and Great Fish

Abstract

There has been a phenomenal loss of large predators in the ocean; within the last 50 years the abundance of large fish predators has been reduced by approximately 90%. What was once thought to be the most abundant large vertebrate in the world, the oceanic white tip shark, was 300 times more abundant off the coast of the southern US only 50 years ago than it is today. I will discuss the ecological consequences of this loss of predators, and how overfishing has drastically changed the world's oceans.