16/09/2015 11:34 BST | Updated 16/09/2015 11:59 BST

Marine Life Has HALVED In The Last 40 Years Says WWF Study

Marine life has dropped by a staggering 49 per cent since the 1970s, according to a study by the World Wildlife Fund.

The study -- believed to be the largest of its kind -- examined over 5,829 populations consisting of 1,234 mammal, bird, reptile, and fish species.


It states that overfishing, along with the effects of climate change are to blame for the drastic reduction in life with popular commercial fish species being the worst affected.

Mackerel and tuna populations have been almost decimated with a reduction in numbers of 70 per cent in the last 40 years with neither showing any signs of recovery.

fishing boat

The WWF report states that the destruction of habitats has played a key role with shrimp fishing contributing to the destruction of almost a third of all seagrasses in the ocean.

Climate change has also played a major part in changing the environment within which this life survives. As the Earth's temperature increases, the burden on the ocean to absorb carbon dioxide has increased.

This has led to higher levels of acidity in the water which in turn has caused the underwater plant life to suffer considerably.


Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International said in a statement to the Independent:

“In the space of a single generation, human activity has severely damaged the ocean by catching fish faster than they can reproduce while also destroying their nurseries. Profound changes a needed to ensure abundant ocean life for future generations,”