Home. When you hear that word, what do you think of. A four walled building with a kitchen a living room a place for you to sleep and a video game set. Sure, that’s true, but let me put it this way, what’s your home’s home? What is your house sitting on, what is that thing you walk on to go the ice cream shop? Earth. Ok yeah, everyone knows that, and sure, everyone knows there are other living things living on Earth as well, but we are the dominant species, the Earth is ours. While that is true in a way, like it or not, will out those “mere animals” we’d all be in big trouble, dead to be precise.
Sure, will our ever growing population we need more places to stay, because we may grow but the Earth doesn’t. But, did you ever stop to think, as we take more and more space, what’s happening to our roommates? Let’s put it in more familiar terms; you and a friend are living together in a house, your friend gets married and has kids, suddenly there is less room for you as her family grows, at some point you have to move out because your living space is needed for an upcoming child, that’s exactly what we are doing to all species, only the consequences are much grander. While you might get mad at your friend, because you feel neglected, and need to find a new place to live, when we give wild life the boot whole ecosystems fall. An ecosystem the system of nature, a natural balance, but when we tip the balance, competition grows, one species’ diversity will drop, making it harder to adapt to the changes, ultimately leading to the extinction of an entire species.
An example of this happening right now is overfishing in the coastal areas of Brazil and Peru. A species of penguin called the Humboldt Penguin is losing genetic diversity, diversity is a very vague term, there are serval types of diversity; genetic diversity, biological diversity (variety and number of different species in the world), and species diversity (different species in an area). Genetic diversity helps in the process of natural selection, which is a process that help a species adapt to changes in its environment, or evolve over time. But these penguins are starving and in bad shape health wise, this causes a lack of genetic diversity, rising the changes of their extinction.
Overfishing doesn’t only cause a problem for the Humboldt Penguins, it causes problems for all sea life and us. Overfishing-hence the name-is when we fish large amounts of fish at once, millions at a time! Millions of fish that won’t get to reproduce, an entire generation, lost! Other sea animals that eat this fish will starve, soon leading to extinction, leaving us with no fish to eat, we’d have to look towards other things to get our Omega-3 vitamins, a vitamin very important for your heart. Prices for the supplement would increase as demands sky rocket. But that’s would be so bad compared to the damage on the ecosystem, birds, bears, otters, sharks, whales, coral, all these species would be in big trouble, most would become extinct, the ocean would be empty and boring…lifeless.
You can do something to stop this! You can speak up, help stop overfishing and protect the environment, your home, and your roommates. We, both humans and the wild life could live together happily, and all it takes is speaking up. Spread the word, educate the public, write to local leaders, join protects or groups, get the word out there, and you’ll see what one little voice can do.