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Hype Journalism, or Grave Warning: Animal Dieoffs, Facts and Impressions

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posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:06 PM
I would like to start this thread by saying, I am extremely skeptical of this incredible hype over bird and fish dieoffs on the news lately. I had more or less written it off as the equivalent of the news posting a story about how the sky is really blue. The fact is, dieoffs occur every year. It wasn't until the Chicago dieoff that I actually asked a relevant question.

Are the supposed bizzare dieoffs related to a food shortage?

If there is any correlation, the repurcussions will be severe. Following now, the facts.

Fish processors face shortage

fish output is expected to decrease by half to 700,000 tonnes this year, he said.

Industry experts said farmers saw an excess of raw material in 2008, leading to huge losses and causing them to breed other kinds of fish.

This year, the total water area available for rearing tra fish reduced by 40-50 per cent in the Cuu Long Delta Provinces, including Soc Trang and Tien Giang. As a result, total output dropped by 70 per cent against last year.


Fish shortage will raise ceviche price 30 percent this summer

The main reason for the price increase, says Armap, is the fish shortage due to unusual climatologic phenomena, but also due to operative costs.

“Fish catching costs have increased but also the prices to rents locals and hire personnel,” said Javer Vargas Guimaray, president of Armap, an association that groups 150 ceviche restaurants in Peru.


World is running out of places to catch wild fish, study finds

The findings, published Thursday in the online journal PLoS ONE, are the first to examine how marine fisheries have expanded over time. Looking at fleets' movements between 1950 and 2005, the five researchers charted how fishing has been expanding southward into less exploited seas at roughly one degree latitude each year to compensate for the fact that humans have depleted fish stocks closer to shore in the Northern Hemisphere.

During that same period the world's fish catch increased fivefold from 19 million metric tons in 1950 to a peak of 90 million in the late 1980s, before declining to 87 million tons in 2005. It was 79.5 million tons in 2008, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Daniel Pauly, a co-author who serves as principal investigator of the Sea Around Us Project at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, said the global seafood catch is dropping "because there's essentially nowhere to go." The fact that fish catches rose for so many decades "looks like sustainability but it is actually expansion driven. That is frightening, because the accounting is coming now."


The facts show that the beginning of massive food shortages, which will inevitably drive up the cost of food. It seems that this is in the early stages, and time will tell how severe a punishment we will pay for overfishing our waters. Reading these articles in their entirety will reveal that the main culprit behind the shortages is a sharp increase in fisheries and fisherman moving farther and farther from home to do business. The result is fewer places to look, and with more mouths to feed and a world population growth rate of 1.33%, equalling 80 million or so new people a year (Source: CIA World Factbook - ) one can expect that the problem increases exponentially.

So the fish dieoffs may or may not be direcly tied to the shortages, but we can all see that if events such as this continue to occur at the same pace, or even a more rapid pace, the consequence will result in hunger that would otherwise not have been there.

As far as bird dieoffs go, I have done the research, and the circle of life is very complicated. We don't directly consume these birds, but they are a vital part of our food chain. With birds and insects being the two main pollinators, I will have to look for broader declines in population to find any real tangible evidence of affecting our food supply. For the sake of being brief, I will just cite a few articles, as I have spent the better part of a day barely scratching the surface of the intricacy.


The number of honeybee colonies required per hectare for adequate pollination of a crop will vary with circumstances, and is expected to increase as wild bee populations decline. The demand for and cost of pollination contracts (hire of honeybee colonies for crop pollination) are expected to rise, and demand may exceed supply if honeybee numbers are decreasing because of economic factors, land use changes, mite infestation or agrochemical kills. Statistics on pollination contracts are needed to monitor the situation. If current trends continue, a pollination crisis is anticipated in the EC, as it is in USA (TORCHIO, 1990). Three complementary objectives should be urgently pursued in an integrated programme: to promote a thriving beekeeping industry and thereby ensure an adequate and appropriately distributed source of honeybees for pollination; to develop techniques for managing other, non-honeybee bee species as pollinators; and to enhance wild bee populations by habitat management (TORCHIO, 1990).

Source :

Actually a very good read. For a layman such as myself, this clearly breaks down the intricacies of bee populations and thier purpose. Not too long either.

New Study: Biodiversity Continues to Decline Worldwide

Species continue to be lost at steady rates across nearly every habitat type on Earth — this despite an international commitment 8 years ago to significantly reduce the rate of such losses by 2010, according to a new study coauthored by a Nature Conservancy scientist.

The study, published today in Science magazine, is the first to comprehensively measure progress toward achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a treaty that pledged to significantly reduce 2002 rates of biodiversity loss by this year toward the end of alleviating global poverty.

The study’s authors found that virtually all of the indicators of the state of biodiversity — everything from species’ population trends to extinction risk to habitat conditions — have declined since 2002.

Source :

Regulation usually has the opposite effect these days. Doubleplusgood.

Farmland bird populations in sharp decline, official figures show

August 2010: Overall farmland bird populations in England fell by five per cent last year to their lowest level for 40 years, according to official figures released today.

Statistics released by Defra covering 19 bird species which rely on farmland have shown the steep decline between 2008 and 2009. RSPB scientists say the one year decline may be down to factors including a cold winter and the loss of set-aside in the countryside.

Some of the most worrying declines include lapwings (12 per cent decline), corn bunting (seven per cent) and grey partridge (23 per cent). Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) - the advanced environmental subsidy package for farmers - was designed to boost individual threatened farmland bird species like these.


At first 12%-23% didn't really mean much until I thought about it in context. What would the world be like if there were a 23% decline in humans in 2011? What would the effects be on the world economy, war, food, and other aspects.

What I gathered is that the food chain is under significant stress, the climate is changing (man made or otherwise), pollution is rampant, and we as a race are growing. The fact is, something will eventually give. I think we are on the cusp of the collapse of the world food chain, the byproduct of an assault on all fronts. We are biting, if not systematically destroying, the very hand that feeds us.

In conclusion I leave you with this map that I stumbled across in my research. It is a map of the animal dieoffs, and I haven't seen it on ATS yet. I have seen a similar one, but this one is much more detailed.,-120.42494&spn=174.764079,155.390625& z=1

If there's any way to post it on ATS, that would be very helpful if someone showed me just how to do it.

Thankyou for your time and patience.
edit on 2011/1/11 by sbctinfantry because: (no reason given)


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