Killing sharks causes climate change, according to articles in ABC News 29 September 2015 and Nature Climate Change doi:10.1038/nclimate2763, Published online 28 September 2015. Peter Macreadie of Deakin University and colleagues have been studying “blue carbon ecosystems”, i.e. seagrasses, salt marshes, mangroves. According to Macreadie “they’re among the most powerful carbon sinks in the world. Therefore they will capture and store carbon at a rate 40 times faster than tropical rainforests like the Amazon and they’ll store that carbon in the ground for millennial time scales”.
The research team found that in areas such as the Cape Cod region in northeastern USA and Australian Mangroves, where there has been overfishing of predatory fish and sharks, there was an increase in other marine creatures such as turtles, crabs, worms and stingrays, which eat the vegetation and release the carbon.
Macreadie explained: “If we just lost 1 per cent of the oceans’ blue carbon ecosystems, it would be equivalent to releasing 460 million tonnes of carbon annually, which is about the equivalent of about 97 million cars. It’s about equivalent to Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions”.
The research team wrote in the their report: “We identify an urgent need for further research on the influence of predators on carbon cycling in vegetated coastal habitats, and ultimately the role that these systems play in climate change mitigation”.
According to Macreadie: “Sharks, believe it or not, are helping to prevent climate change”.
Editorial Comment: We do need further research into marine ecosystems, especially coastal communities such as salt marshes, mangroves and seagrass meadows, and we need to find ways of fishing in more sustainable ways, but not for the reasons Macreadie’s research team claim.
We should study how these ecosystems work and how they recycle nutrients, and then come up with ways of working with that system to sustain both people and animals. Wisely managing the resources of the sea is part of the mandate given to man at creation when God gave us the command to rule over the fish of the sea. (Genesis 1:26-28) This does not mean ruthlessly exploiting, but using wisely for the benefit of both people and animals, whilst giving thanks to God who provides our needs.
We have control of how we catch fish and what we do to coastlines, but there are many environmental factors we do not have control over, such as rainfall, ocean currents, clouds, winds and the sun – all the factors that really change the climate, and are controlled by God who invented weather, and therefore has the right to use it to bless or to judge. To sustain coastal ecosystems we must use our intelligence to work wisely on the things we can control, and humble ourselves before God who sustains the world with powerful forces that are beyond our control, and ask His blessings on this planet. (Ref. climate, ecology, coastlines)
Evidence News vol. 15 No.18
7 October 2015
Creation Research Australia