How does overfishing affect CO2 levels?
The oceans play a crucial role in regulating the global carbon cycle. They absorb large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, overfishing can disrupt this process in several ways:
Impacts on Marine Ecosystems: Overfishing can disrupt marine ecosystems by removing key species from the food web. This can impact the ability of the ocean to absorb and store CO2, as different species play different roles in regulating the carbon cycle.
Changes to Ocean Chemistry: Overfishing can also lead to changes in the chemistry of the ocean, which can impact its ability to absorb and store CO2. For example, the removal of large predators can result in an increase in the number of smaller species that produce more CO2 through respiration.
Loss of Carbon Sinks: Overfishing can also contribute to the loss of key habitats, such as coral reefs and seagrass beds, which are important carbon sinks. When these habitats are destroyed, they release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.