The GOES presentation

Plankton are the root of the planet’s food chain and life support system

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The mass of planktonnene in the world’s oceans is only about 1 giga tonnene; the mass of terrestrial plants is 450 giga tonnene. However, with a doubling time of 3 days as opposed to 60 years, this makes plankton at least 10 times more important than terrestrial plants. This matches the ratio that up to 90% of the world’s oxygen production and carbon sequestration are done by plankton. The life support system for the planet is therefore based on a small biomass of very delicate organisms that are easily killed by plastic and chemical pollution at the ocean surface.

Anything that adversely impacts the productivity of plankton, such as overfishing of key species of fish or pollution, will have a profound impact on the plankton and the stability of the marine ecosystem.

According to an international report on the fishing industry, “by the 1990s, biomass and cycling rates had been reduced by nearly half, suggesting that the biogeochemical impact of fisheries has been comparable to that of anthropogenic climate change (

This effectively means that if we had practiced truly sustainable fishing as opposed to the destruction of the marine ecosystem, we would not now be suffering from climate change.

Krill are a hugely important zooplankton; there annual production is equivalent to the total biomass of humanity, but numbers have dropped by 50% and they continue to rapidly decline

The loss of coral reefs and plankton productivity goes way beyond the loss of fish from the commercial fishing sector. The fate of the planet and our survival therefore depend upon our actions over the next few years