Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bering Sea ocean life threatened by warming

Ocean life off Alaska is feeling the heat. Ice is melting and the whole Bering Sea ecosystem is changing, with potentially devastating effects for some marine mammals and fish.

But it's not all bad news, what's bad for ribbon seals may turn out to be good for pollock. The timing of spring plankton blooms may be a critical factor in determining who thrives and who suffers.

As the ecosystem turns, opinions about causes differ. Some believe that everything awry in the Bering Sea is caused by factory trawlers. Now Blogfish is no friend of harmful fishing, but it's not right to blame fishing for everything. Fishermen do take a lot of fish out of the Bering Sea, but fishing isn't causing the loss of sea ice and every other change to the oceans in the region. Many dedicated scientists think climate change is roiling the waters, and they aren't all being paid off by fishermen and their friends in politics.

If we want to fix ocean problems, then we need to be open minded about the causes and potential solutions.

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