Paul Greenberg loved to fish growing up in Connecticut. But by the time he was an adult, he noticed there were far fewer varieties of fish than when he was a young boy. So, as he explained in his TED Talk below, he started going to fish markets to investigate. No matter where I went, Greenberg said, whether it was North Carolina, London or Paris, I would find the same four fish everywhere: shrimp, tuna, salmon and cod.
Greenberg is the author of The New York Times bestseller Four Fish and a regular contributor to The Times. His most recent book, American Catch, details how the U.S. lost and how it might regain local seafood.
Technological advances in the latter half of the 20th century allowed for a tremendous build up in fishing capacity, Greenberg explained. The number of fish caught has quadrupled from 20 million metric tons at the end of World War II to 80 million metric tons today. To put that in perspective, Greenberg said, that's the equivalent of the human weight of China taken out of the sea every year.
And now that aquaculture (raising fish and other seafood in a controlled environment) has exploded in recent years the equivalent to the human weight of two Chinas is stripped from the ocean every year, according to Greenberg.
Greenberg explained in his TED Talk why fishing and farming shrimp, tuna, salmon and cod are not sustainable for the environment nor for the people working in the industry. He cited problems such as slave-like conditions for workers, bycatch, the displacement of mangrove forests and the high energy use required to harvest these fish. Lastly, Greenberg offered an alternative way forward.
Watch his TED Talk here:
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Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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