High Tech High Blog Series: Blog 6 of 7
What comes to mind when you read the word “fertilizer?” Lawns? Farms? Family garden projects? What about water pollution and dead zones?
Kelp forests play home to more than 700 species of marine creatures.
Many factors including pollution, climate change, and over-fishing contribute to kelp forest decline, and their collective impact is far greater than any individual stressor.
Research has shown that grazing by inflated sea urchins populations damaged kelp forests and slowed recovery in the '50s to '70s off Point Loma. Sea otters, lobster, and sheephead fish are important predators, keeping urchin populations in check.
Many fish off California's coast are in such decline that some species will take 50-80 years to recover to healthy levels.
La Jolla's lush kelp forest is like a stand of underwater redwoods – it provides food and shelter for hundreds of species, from tiny invertebrates to fish, mammals and birds.
Since 1990, revenues from commercial fishing have declined by more than half and the number of fishing boats calling at California ports has declined by nearly three-quarters.
Average size across a wide range of West Coast fish is down by half from 20 years ago.
A 40-cm bocaccio rockfish produces an average of just over 200,000 eggs per year, whereas an 80-cm fish at double the length produces nearly 10 times as many eggs (2 million)!
Nearly 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources.
Regardless of their size, plastic pollution bits are not digestible by any creature.
More than 60 percent of all marine debris is plastic.