Sea fish stocks could be wiped out in less than fifty years if current levels of fishing continue, scientists warned in a new report.
Stocks of fish are depleting so fast that there could be irrevocably destroyed if nothing is done now, according to research published in the magazine Science today.
Nearly one third of fish species (29%) have collapsed to, or less than, 10% of their original levels in the past 1,000 years, the report states.
The scientists also found that marine ecosystems could recover relatively quickly if over-fishing restraints were enforced.
Professor Boris Worm told The Times: "It's not too late to turn things around…diversity of species recover dramatically and with it the ecosystem's productivity and stability."
The warnings come just days after a group of international experts called for a complete ban of fishing cod in the North Sea.
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea claimed the current levels of over fishing even under the quota system were unsustainable as levels of stock were still depleting.
By Emily Manson
E-mail your comments to Emily Manson here.