UH researcher: Oceans face unprecedented mass extinction

UH researcher: Oceans face unprecedented mass extinction

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A University of Hawaii-Hilo researcher has helped author a study that concludes the threat of extinction in our oceans has the potential to be much greater than past mass extinctions.

The study suggests that human fishing and hunting are the dominant threats to marine animals and the threat was strongest for animals of larger body size.

"Big animals tend to be at the top of ecological food webs. They also tend to be very important in terms of the cycling of nutrients through the ocean waters and in terms of the mixing of the sediments at the bottom of the sea floor," said Matthew Knope, Biology Professor at UH Hilo.

Knope hopes that President Obama's move to quadruple the size of Papahanaumokuakea will provide the positive model for future conservation actions needed to curtail this pending mass extinction.

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