The Stream, January 20: Global Fish Catches Falling Quickly, Study Finds

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Overfishing is depleting fisheries and causing global fish catches to decline faster than previously thought, according to a new study. Thailand is drilling thousands of new wells to combat drought, water levels in the Kariba dam shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe are dropping, and food shortages are threatening refugees at a camp in Malawi. India’s top environmental court is calling on the government to address water pollution in the Ganges River. Florida is considering a law that could make fracking in the Everglades easier.

“The situation is becoming dire. Many of the most vulnerable, including children, the chronically ill, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and the elderly are at the brink of malnutrition.” –Monique Ekoko, the UN Refugee Agency’s representative for Malawi, in a statement about deteriorating food security at the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. Droughts in the region have pushed up food prices and destroyed crops, while international funding for humanitarian aid is stretched thin by multiple crises. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

12 percent of capacity Water levels at the Kariba hydropower dam, a major supplier of electricity in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Levels are just two meters above the minimum threshold required to operate the dam. Bloomberg

4,300 wells Number that Thailand plans to drill over the next several months to help farmers, residents, and industries avoid water shortages. Reuters

80 bodies Number found in the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh last week, prompting India’s National Green Tribunal to criticize the government for its failure to clean up pollution in the river. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

Global fish catches are declining at a rate of 1.2 million metric tons each year, about three times faster than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications. The study draws on research conducted over a decade by more than 400 scientists around the world. It concludes that overfishing is exhausting fisheries and leading to the declines. Guardian

On the Radar

On The Radar

A proposed bill in the Florida senate could make it easier for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to occur in the Everglades by preventing local municipalities from banning fracking through local ordinances and resolutions. Environmentalists have criticized the bill, raising concerns that fracking could contaminate the Biscayne Aquifer. Guardian

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