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World's oceans 'moving into mass extinction phase' experts say

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coral-reefTHE world's oceans are moving into a 'phase of extinction' due to catastrophic over-fishing, pollution and climate change, leading scientists report.


And the experts have warned that conditions are similar to every previous mass extinction event in the Earth's history.

A shock report from an international panel of marine experts said that the condition of the world's seas was worsening more quickly than had been predicted.

The scientists, gathered for a workshop at Oxford University, warned that entire ecosystems including the world's major coral reefs, could be lost in a generation.

Already fish stocks are collapsing, leading to a risk of rising food prices and even starvation in some parts of the world.

The experts blamed the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for pushing up ocean temperatures, boosting algae so there is less oxygen and increasing acidity of the water.

Dr Alex Rogers, scientific director of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) which convened the panel with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said: “As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the ocean the implications became far worse than we had individually realised.

"This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime and, worse, our children's and generations beyond that.”

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