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Scientists say planet in midst of sixth mass extinction!
Washington’s Salish Sea is a prime example.

Credit: CBS News 60 Minutes

Scientists say planet in midst of sixth mass extinction, Earth’s wildlife running out of places to live

From CBS News, 60 Minutes:

In what year will the human population grow too large for the Earth to sustain? The answer is about 1970, according to research by the World Wildlife Fund. In 1970, the planet’s 3 and a half billion people were sustainable. But on this New Year’s Day, the population is 8 billion. Today, wild plants and animals are running out of places to live. The scientists you’re about to meet say the Earth is suffering a crisis of mass extinction on a scale unseen since the dinosaurs. We’re going to show you a possible solution, but first, have a look at how humanity is already suffering from the vanishing wild.

In Washington state, the Salish Sea helped feed the world. 

Dana Wilson: With this weather and the way things feel once I get out here, it’s time to be fishing, that’s what it feels like.

Commercial fisherman Dana Wilson supported a family on the Salish Sea’s legendary wealth of salmon. He remembers propellers churning the water off Blaine, Washington and cranes straining for the state’s 200 million dollar annual catch. 

Dana Wilson: That used to be a buying station, they’re gone now, they don’t buy anymore. So, that building over there used to buy salmon, they don’t buy salmon anymore, it’s just not here. 

In 1991, one salmon species was endangered. Today, 14 salmon populations are foundering.  They’ve been crowded out of rivers by habitat destruction, warming, and pollution. Dana Wilson used to fish all summer. Today, a conservation authority grants rare, fleeting, permission to throw a net. 

Scott Pelley: There was a season.  

Dana Wilson: There was a season.

Scott Pelley: Now there’s a day?

Dana Wilson: There’s a day, and sometimes it’s hours. Sometimes you might get 12 hours, 16 hours. that’s what we’re down to.

Posted by Steve on January 3, 2023 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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