A new study conducted by researchers from Hakai Institute in Canada in collaboration with researchers from the University of Victoria and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation states that humans are super predators. Humans’ behavior regarding fishing and hunting is so destructive that it alters the ecosystem and it leads to the disappearance of important habitats. The paper was published in the journal Science.
The research team conducted a global survey on 400 marine species from all over the globe except Antarctica. According to the results of the study humans kill more than any predatory species on the globe. The results were especially worrying when it came to fish. Researchers discovered that humans kill 14 times more fish than any predatory fish species.
The scientists set out to perform this study in order to find out whether humans, who have such an important role in the ecosystem, also exhibit predatory behaviors. This fact is not in accordance with the concept of sustainable exploitation practiced by humans which aims at changes in prey population and the benefits which human get from hunting. However the way in which humans behave as predators has been overlooked. That is why the researchers wanted to investigate various patterns of catching prey in both humans and terrestrial and marine species.
When it comes to catching prey humans have different behavior and influence compared to other predators. These differences are due to population expansion, developed hunting technologies and geographic extension. All these factors have led to substantial alterations of the ecosystems, the evolution and the food web networks of both terrestrial and marine species.
Conservation scientist Chris Darimont from the University of Victoria explained that this is due to the fact that humans possess both intelligence and tools that provide them with unusual and moreover unnatural predator behavior.
The scientists are of the opinion that it would be of really great importance if sustainable exploitation is going to be redefined in such a way that it will focus more on predator behaviors and not on human yields.
The researchers also recommend that humans should be limited by transformation necessities in such a way that the changes regarding institutions, economy and culture should be just as strong as the advantage humans have over predators. Achieving this goal could be done by promoting carnivore tolerance, supporting fisheries groups and creating catch-share programs.
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