World's fish can be gone by 2050, experts say

Fish stocks throughout the world could face near-extinction by 2050 if more isn't done to stem the increasing strain on all species, especially those in deep waters, says a report in today's issue of the journal Science.

UBC fisheries professor Daniel Pauly, one of the article's authors, said that over the last 50 years the international fishery has moved into deeper waters -- a trend that could foreshadow stock losses similar to what happened to the cod in Canada.

"You have one fishery collapsing after the other," he said. "The parts of the world that were not fished are now fished... This is a very powerful trend."

Pauly and his colleagues suggest steps can be taken to prevent further erosion of stocks, and for the first time have linked the availability of cheap oil to the expansion of the world's fisheries.

The scientists argue that boats will continue to ply deep waters farther offshore if there is a ready supply of inexpensive fuel.