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The ocean’s falling oxygen levels are putting fish species at risk: report

Well the world’s deep oceans are in deep
trouble. This according to a new report presented at the UN climate conference
in Madrid today. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says
there are many reasons for that but a big one is the steady fall in oxygen
levels. Now fish need oxygen just as much as land animals but the number of
so-called dead zones, which are places with little or no oxygen, is growing
quickly. When research began in the 1960s scientists counted 45 dead zones but
today there are more than 700. The lower oxygen levels are especially hard on
larger species like sharks. Minna Epps is the director of the Global
Marine and Polar Program with the International Union for the Conservation
of Nature and she joins us right now from Madrid. Minna thank you for joining
us today. Thank you for having me. Listen I want to begin first and foremost with
impact. What does a lower oxygen level in oceans actually translate to? Well the
concrete things that it translates to on a general scale would be the loss of
biodiversity, loss of biomass. Loss of habitats as these are shrinking or it
could be also alternate of alteration of the energy and the biochemical cycling.
So what is causing this lower oxygen level that’s now being tracked around
the world? Well the primary cause of deoxygenation
which has occurred far most in the coastal areas what’s been 30 to 40
kilometers offshore like you would have seen and then lower the Gulf of St.
Lawrence. That is caused mainly by nutrient pollution so that’s a primary
course in general what we’re seeing now is also the linkages to climate change
as increased CO2 levels emissions has resulted in ocean warming. So warmer
water contains less diesel – less oxygen – which means that the oceans due to
climate change are becoming warmer more sour and ultimately breathless.
Breathless but I do wonder what is the impact on that on humans?
Well it’s it’s all connected so from the oceans you know we get food, it’s
it’s a carbon storage, it generates oxygen, it’s part regulates,
heat, excess heat so it’s part of a regulatory system and we all need oxygen
as well to breathe. But what climate change does is weaken this ability, the
support system, of of the ocean and you mentioned in the 700 sites, I mean the
this two per cent decline in oxygen levels is an average within that you have massive
huge regional variations. So this could be some areas up to 30 per cent etc but we’re
also seeing that the future projections is another three to four percent both
under high and a lower emission targets. So it makes it harder to actually regulate
oxygen and global temperatures you’re saying and talk about the economic
impact of this because I think for many people this is part of the picture as
they try to understand the impacts of climate change. Yeah so I think that now
they’re talking about or looking at the ocean saying, well if the ocean was a
state it would be in in terms of GDP it would be the seven largest. So because
we’re looking at all the benefits that we are getting for the ocean and its
services and the potential that’s there so we really need to think about this
and a concrete thing would be commercial fishing which is important for the socio-economics. So look at the tuna fisheries for example they need a lot of oxygen-rich waters and so we’re seeing migration to more nutrient and ocean
and rich waters but so it’s it could be habitat loss but it can also affect us
in the way that’s important commercial species which is like code for example.
It can actually hamper their growth as well because they don’t have oxygen
enough oxygen they have enough to sustain but they might not grow or
reproduce as much as they would under more optimal conditions.
Well of course cod is a species of fish that Canada is very familiar with. This
deoxygenation as you say happening all around the world,
can you pinpoint the kind of effect this will have on Canada in particular? Well I
mean this report that’s been put together it’s from 67 scientists around
the world and there’s different geographical studies. So it’s 600 pages
of these different sites. There are studies looking at the Gulf of St.
Lawrence and looking at cod but also in some areas where they have actually
found deoxygenation has half since the 1930s in those areas.
So it’s an area I think 1,300 square kilometers of deoxygenation so so that’s
something that’s very close to home for you and as you mentioned before the cod
fishery. So can this be stopped are there things on a practical level
the people can do to stop this from happening? I mean there is a solution. I
mean the primary cost which is nutrient pollution of course there’s action that
that can be taken there but we need to ultimately cut emissions or have much
more ambitious targets towards cutting emissions. We need to invest in nature
based solutions so that’s in protecting and restoring ecosystems both from
mitigation and for adaptation but we also need to reduce other non climate
change stressors such as overfishing. We need to have sustainable fisheries that
can sustain and be more resilient to these changes that are occurring and so
that’s really here I think the decisions being made at the COP here in Madrid
will actually determine the future of our oceans whether there will be
thriving and marine biodiversity and oxygen-rich environment or whether they
will be damaged and irreversibly lost so I think that has an impact and then as
we said on a personal level we you know we can engage we can put public pressure
and we can make sure that we source sustain from sustainable sources.

  • Welcome to the Anthropocene! A set of conditions for which humanity has absolutely no experience and is solely due to due to humanity’s hubris!

  • If nothing is done on an urgent scale (less than ten years), humanity will be forced to breathe only what we exhale…


  • The solution is to create a new the tax. It’s just a mater of time for the government to add carbon water tax or something. After that everything will
    go back to normal like magic.

  • If you don't understand abrupt climate change by now you are not paying attention to facts or you're a russian bot period

  • No one speaking has any credibility left… It's tough to know weather they are telling the truth or at least the entire truth as we never get that..

  • if you were to show that Australia has the Great Barrier reef and the fires that are affecting 3/4 of Australia, what happens on land, must affect the Great Barrier Reef as well. Australia is a warning for the rest of the world. To say that this only affects British Columbia's and the Pacific Ocean is not enough, this affects the whole world.

  • Considering we've only explored about 20 to 30% of our oceans…hhhmmm…then there's a huge number of new ecosystems never included in these studies and so on…and so on…

  • So can we build oxygen buoys with oxygen tubes and place them into the dead zones or into zones at risk for deoxyginzation ? Just an idea !!

  • Bull Sh.. Man is destroying the oxygen levels in our oceans. Every time a nuclear warhead lands in our oceans it causes more climate change and oxygen loss. Man is single handedly destroying this beautiful earth. Anyone ever thought about the damage & Destruction North Korea is causing with firing those nukes?
    Cause & Effect.

  • You cannot keep adding people to this earth and expect things to stay pristine. People are destructive (consumption, the garbage created, weapons, need for power plants, overfishing, etc.). But….the guy had to show the human condition by asking "oh gee…how will this affect "people". You can't get people to change for altruistic reasons….gotta make it about them.

  • Bunker fuels.. from ships off the west coast…spraying into atmosphere…
    (like that is good for O2? ) Geoengineering, climate control, solar radiation management , solar dimming.. look it up. Barium, lithium, strontium, coal fly ash , aluminum… look it up. Global agreement by all nations to participate in the above. Ask about it .

  • The higher CO2 makes plant life healthier which produces more oxygen. Climate change is a lie. The Earth always changes even along with solar minimums or maximums that come and go every 11 years. People cannot change the atmosphere and have minimal effect on the planet, which puts out more from natural disasters like volcanoes for one. We all live with changes everyday.

  • Two words SOLAR FORCING ….the last 2 words you will hear when this bogus man made science is blown up. Ur all puppets

  • When you leave pop out at room temperature the bubbles leave it and it goes flat because of temperature.
    Oxygen leaves the oceans just like your pop fizz if the temperature is warmer.

  • I'm a grandmother and this is ergent that the politicians do something to save our planet! They do nothing but TALK! We are losing species every day. Extinction! We dump garbage into the oceans, on land, everywhere! Thank you for sharing this with me. Scary stuff

  • Everything out of integrity is being exposed. It's physics. No escape! The game is over. It ended in the "Fall of 2016". Nothing remains hidden… Up next, CNN closes its doors. Global uprisings. Epstien crimes against humanity tie in all top level controllers across all industries… incl MSM. Big pharma implodes, along with: Hollywood, MSM, Big Tech, globalist governments, Insurance, Religion, Monopolies, Ologopolies, Education, science, and Big Money.

    Globalism is wiped out by 2024. Nothing can stop this… and running for office won't save any corrupt politians from full exposure of truth and justice.

    China implodes and falls behind emerging economies – Hong Kong wins because China is a paper tiger mired in corruption, debt and dark age politics. It will blow apart suddenly, like the days of the Soviet Union and Berlin Wall.

    Every move made that is not in integrity will backfire just like every single move made by the controlling elite since the "Fall of 2016". Bet on it! Huge exposure, disclosures and whistleblowers coming. No escape! Integrity or bust. Bet on it!

    What's spectacular is that this message will not be understood or believed by those operating in their survival-mode paradigm… even though there is a three-year track-record of what is unfolding.

  • We're doomed unless the government saves us. Please donate as much money as you can to the government and they will save us. This is an emergency. The government needs your money NOW!

  • Hmmmm…the planet has been warmer…ergo the oceans have been warmer without sea life dying off. So global warming cannot be the cause.

  • I think we need regulations on products we put on our skin and go swimming in our water ways, because these are "nutrient pollutants". Laws banning actual abolutions in our water ways, even while camping. Swim suits should not be washed in our non-biodegradable detergents and fabric softeners. Details, details, details. Be specific, then make aggressive action.

  • Don't worry about the fish. China, and Asia along with some delinquent European countries will empty the Oceans of fish long before they run out of oxygen.

  • All the climate change restrictions that you put on the western world will have no effect because China does not care about it and are building hundreds of NEW COAL FIRED POWER STATIONS as we speak they are also the ones putting most of the crap into the oceans i.e. fertilizer etc. until you can get China to change you are flogging a dead horse


  • To my lovely and my most beloved Canadians, please dont support s radical approach to fight climate change. It will cost taxpayers lots of money, and it will harm the economy. Just continue to use fossil fuels, just continue to drive instead of public transportation…global warming isn't necessarily real. Trust me folks.

  • Governments should be to blame cause if it wasn't for greed they would of let the replacement for oil and gas a long time ago. Get the big polluters to change, get non biodegradable products off shelves. This CBC is to blame aswell spreading propaganda. More of our $ cant fix government greed

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