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Old 05-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default 'Sobering' Decline Of Caribbean's Big Fish, Fisheries: Overfishing Deemed Most Likely Cause

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'Sobering' Decline Of Caribbean's Big Fish, Fisheries: Overfishing Deemed Most Likely Cause
ScienceDaily (May 6, 2009) Sharks, barracuda and other large predatory fishes disappear on Caribbean coral reefs as human populations rise, endangering the region's marine food web and ultimately its reefs and fisheries, according to a sweeping study by researcher Chris Stallings of The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

'Sobering' Decline Of Caribbean's Big Fish, Fisheries: Overfishing Deemed Most Likely Cause
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"Large predatory fish such as groupers and sharks are vitally important in marine food webs," Stallings said. "However, predicting the consequence of their loss is difficult because of the complexity of predator-prey interactions. You can't replace a 10-foot shark with a one-foot grouper and expect there to be no effect on reef communities. Shifts in abundance to smaller predators could therefore have surprising and unanticipated effects. One such effect may be the ability of non-native species to invade Caribbean reefs."
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