Where have all the big fish gone? Part II: A case study from the Florida Keys

Following on from two great posts by John and Albert on Carribean reef fish decline and coral collapse, I thought it’d be worth posting these visually stunning images from a recent publication by Loren McClenechan, titled “Documenting Loss of Large Trophy Fish from the Florida Keys with Historical Photographs“. Through analysis of historical photographs in the Florida Keys, Loren managed to piece together a convicing history of recreational fishing trends over the past half century. Large fish really were more abundant in bygone days: the average fish size caught in 2007 was a tiny 2.3kg, compared with 19.9kg in 1957, and that the average length of sharks declined by more than 50% in the same period. In this case though, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

1a
1957
1b
Early 1980's

2007
2007

Continue reading “Where have all the big fish gone? Part II: A case study from the Florida Keys”

A world without fish – what would it take?

“A Sea Change – Imagine a World Without Fish” is a recently released documentary film about ocean acidification, the little-known ugly sister of global warming. The film website http://www.aseachange.net explains it “… aims not only to educate viewers about the science of our rapidly-changing oceans, but also to engage them on accessible terms.” The full … Continue reading A world without fish – what would it take?

Caribbean fish decline in the wake of coral collapse?

A new study in Current Biology (some really interesting coral related stuff being published there lately) by Michelle Paddack and colleagues (Paddack et al 2009) documents a region-wide decline in reef associated fish in the Caribbean. The authors conducted a meta-analysis on a substantial amount of fisheries-independent, time-series data on Caribbean fish densities. Fish densities … Continue reading Caribbean fish decline in the wake of coral collapse?