The Alaskan snow crab season has been canceled by officials as they investigate the disappearance of an estimated 1 billion crabs.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has canceled the winter snow crab season for the first time in state history in the Bering Sea due to their depleting numbers. Now, scientists are worried that the sudden drop in the population could be detrimental to the health of the Arctic ecosystem.
In two years, an estimated one billion crabs have mysteriously disappeared, according to state officials. This drop marks a 90 percent decline in their population. While some think it may be because of a disease, many are pointing to climate change as the culprit.
Alaska is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The state feels the brunt of global warming, and it’s clear what it is doing to their ice and ecosystems.
As of July 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 455 critically endangered fish species, including 87 which are tagged as possibly extinct. The fewer fish in the ocean, the less food, and the larger marine animals have to survive on, leading to an imbalance in marine food webs. Apex predators are disappearing, bottom trawling is tearing the ocean apart, and fishing vessels wage war on the oceans. GMO fish are not the answer to overfishing. If we want to save marine wildlife environmental and dietary choices will have the most impact.
According to Counting Animals, “An individual who chooses to take on a vegetarian diet can save over 225 fish and 151 shellfish a year. If just half of the U.S. population (about 150,000,000 individuals) eliminated seafood from their diets, that would mean about 33,750,000,000 fish would remain in the ocean every year.”
Everything nutritious that people believe they are getting from fish can get from other sources. Check out How to Ditch Fish Oil for Plant-Based Sources and Why Flaxseed Oil is Healthier than Fish Oil. Fish often have been exposed to many toxic chemicals like mercury which the consumer then eats when they eat the fish. Fish are also sentient creatures and can feel pain. There is no reason that we need to continue to eat these animals.
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 17 October 2022. Lead Image Source : Vintagepix/Shutterstock.
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