Cascading effects of over-fishing marine systems

Trends Ecol Evol. 2005 Nov;20(11):579-81. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.08.018. Epub 2005 Sep 8.


Profound indirect ecosystem effects of over-fishing have been shown for coastal systems such as coral reefs and kelp forests. A new study from the ecosystem off the Canadian east coast now reveals that the elimination of large predatory fish can also cause marked cascading effects on the pelagic food web. Overall, the view emerges that, in a range of marine ecosystems, the effects of fisheries extend well beyond the collapse of fish exploited stocks.