The Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts – Review

by Robert Cheney

in Books

Callum Roberts is a marine conservation biologist, oceanographer, author and research scholar at the University of York, England. He was awarded a Pew fellowship in 2000 and in 2001 he was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University.

Imagine an underwater world without whales, sharks, and dolphins, where jellyfish and algae rule. It’s already happening, says marine biologist Callum Roberts in his new books, The Ocean of Life.

Man has invented a vehicle that can search and capture species that live 2 miles deep in the dark ocean.  It’s maiden voyage to the depths generated a lot of excitement about finding new lifeforms  Guess what the first thing they found when the vehicle reached it’s destination 2 miles down – Garbage, lots of human garbage.

  • We are in an age with a rapidly rising global population that can only be fed through intensive agriculture but we are messing with the climate.
  • We are changing the pH of the oceans and messing up oceanic ecology’s world wide (most of our oxygen comes from the oceans by the way).
  • We are entering a major extinction event in the history of the Earth and this one is caused entirely by us.
  • We are steadily depleting the resources that keep us alive on this planet and are destroying the biological infrastructure.
  • If you are not deeply worried, you should be.
Issues I had
“Sharks, blue fin tuna, cod, Chilean sea bass, all have declined steeply as a result of excessive fishing.” 
The Barents Sea (north east Atlantic) Cod stock is in a very healthy state. Barents Sea 2012 cod quota set at bumper 751,000 tons. The quota has increased the last years. This in contrast to the northwest Atlantic cod stock that are very low and not in a healthy state.
To generalize and encourage people avoiding eating cod without mention that the Barents sea cod stock is in a very healthy state is not seriously. One problem when the cod stock is so high that the larger cods start eating the smaller ones.

If there’s a louder wake-up call than The Ocean of Life, I haven’t heard it!

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