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Overfishing Remains Biggest Threat to Mediterranean, Study Confirms

Marine Ecologist Enric Sala says a new study produced by a dozen researchers confirms that the Mediterranean is on a trajectory to become a sea dominated by small tropical species that no one likes to eat. “Fishes will not be abundant, and the native species that the Greeks and Romans started to fish commercially will be rare — and most fisheries and the jobs they support will collapse,” he says. But this could change “if we stop all the irrational overfishing,” Sala adds, “including both legal and illegal fishing, and protect a large chunk of the Mediterranean. Without these radical changes, we’re just going to reduce the Mediterranean Sea to a soup of microbes and jellyfish.”

Overfishing 101: Counting Fish

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. How heavy is 35,000 metric tons? For starters, it’s the weight of 193 jumbo jets or 2,917 African elephants. It’s also the amount of Atlantic bluefin tuna that have exceeded the official catch quota in the Mediterranean Sea in the past two years alone, according to a Pew-commissioned analysis…