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Carbon dioxide pollution is also being absorbed by the ocean, causing its chemistry to change and become more acidic.This spells trouble for marine animals that are now having difficulty building shells, growing and sometimes even surviving in increasingly corrosive waters.A more exhaustive study, taking over a decade shows that the annual catches between 19 were much bigger than thought, but that the decline after the peak year of 1996 was much faster than official figures.The new research estimates the peak catch was 130 million tons, but declined at 1.2 million tons per year afterwards.The decline since 1996 has largely been in fish caught by industrial fleets and to a lesser extent a cut in the number of unwanted fish discarded at sea.
Living on both the open ocean and the shoreline, they face overfishing, drowning in fishing lines or nets, plastic pollution, invasive species like rats in nesting areas, oil and gas development and toxic pollution moving up the food chain.Prof Daniel Pauly, at the University of British Columbia in Canada and who led the work, said the decline is very strong and "is due to countries having fished too much and having exhausted one fishery after another." Prof Boris Worm, at Dalhousie University in Canada and not involved in the new research said."This was a Herculean task that no one else has ever attempted.In the end, large-scale actions to help seabirds could also go a long way in cleaning-up our increasingly trashed marine ecosystems."The oceans are still woefully under protected and fisheries need greater management and enforcement.