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Empty Oceans

from the Christian Science Monitor

For thousands of years, humans saw the seas as an infinite source of plenty. But the industrialized fishing fleets of the 20th century found the ocean's bounds. Today, fish stocks are disappearing and undersea ecosystems are changing in ways that raise alarm. How did this happen? And what must be done to reverse these trends and sustain life in the world's seas?

In Part 1 of a series, the Monitor looks at the factors that have conspired to cause the collpse of fish stocks.

In the past, sail-powered fishing boats were limited by wind and weather; today's factory ships, with sonar and GPS, can scour the sea for months. The sea was not so vast, once we deployed an industrial armada against it.

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