Why It Matters
The world’s oceans produce 70% of our oxygen, influence weather systems, support economies and feed people. Three billion people now depend on fish as a primary protein source, and over four billion more rely on it to supplement other protein sources. Yet scientists are now reporting that the health of the oceans may be in even worse condition than originally thought. A recent study by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean cites a combination of factors threatening a new mass extinction event in the oceans similar to earlier extinctions recorded in prehistoric data.