Mass Extinction of Ocean Life Poses Concern to Hawaii
On Tuesday a study was published by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) that warns of the possible mass extinction of ocean life. The culprits: climate change, pollution and over-fishing. The 27 experts warn that the earth faces the very real possibility of losing coral reefs and the spreading of low-oxygen “dead zones” unless action is taken now. Scientist’s list three major factors in the report that have been present in the past five mass extinctions over the last 600 million years: warming, acidification, and an increase of hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen) in the oceans. What would this mean for the islands of Hawaii? With very few fish left, the diet (and livelihoods) of the residents of Hawaii would be severely affected. Without vibrant coral reefs attracting marine life, the millions of tourists would have nowhere to snorkel or dive in Hawaii. Marine sanctuaries like Hanauma Bay where tours regularly visit would be devoid of visitors. This latest report reinforces the findings of several reports, one conducted by the World Resources Institute, that conclude that all coral reefs could be gone by the year 2050. Unless things change, and fast, life in Hawaii will be drastically changed.