1 JUNE 2007
the year 2018. However, such a meaningless
projection does not incorporate a large num-
ber of complex factors, such as the differing
life histories of species, impacts of variable
ocean conditions on recruitment, and the
increasing effectiveness of management
measures, all significant shortcomings of the
prediction method and data of Worm
To address persistent overfishing issues, in
December 2006 the U.S. Congress passed and
the National Marine Fisheries Service is now
implementing provisions of the Magnuson
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Manage-
ment Act Reauthorization Act (MSRA). The
law mandates that overfishing be eliminated
for all federally managed species by 2010 and
that science-based annual catch limits will be
calculated for all of the 532 stocks currently
Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor,
National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.
Office of Science and Technology, National Marine
Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, Seattle, WA 98112, USA.
Fisheries Division, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National
Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.
1. J. Brodziak, M. Traver, L. Col, S. Sutherland, Stock
Assessment of Georges Bank Haddock, 19312004
(National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries
Science Center Reference Document 0601, 126, 2006).
2. NOAA, Status of the U.S. fisheries for 2005 (available at
THE PROJECTION FROM B. WORM
(“Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean
ecosystem services,” 3 Nov. 2006, p. 787)
that all of the world’s wild fish will be col-
lapsed by 2048 attracted international media
attention. Such a projection is fallacious and
inappropriate to appear in a scientific jour-
nal. The use of catch data to indicate stock
status is misleading for several reasons. Catch
may be low due to management restrictions,
edited by Etta Kavanagh
Biodiversity Loss in the Ocean: How Bad Is It?
THE RESEARCH ARTICLE “IMPACTS OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS ON OCEAN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES” BY
(3 Nov. 2006, p. 787) projects that 100% of seafood-producing species stocks
will collapse by 2048. The projection is inaccurate and overly pessimistic.