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Animal Scene - 2021-11-01

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UNDER THE SEA

ADVOCATE

In the 2013 publication of World Ocean Review titled The Future of Fish – The Fisheries of the Future, they said, “Fish make a major contribution to their ecosystem: providing essential nutrients that support the whole ecosystem. Simply put, Fish are excellent recyclers of the nutrients that algae and other bottomlevel species need to survive that in turn support the remainder of the ecosystem. The importance of this function suggests that overfishing can be highly detrimental to the proper functioning of the whole ecosystem.” The bottom-level species referred to above are phytoplankton, which also happen to be one of the most important organisms in the ocean and are the foundation of the oceanic food chain. They act as primary producers, feeding all life under the sea from minute zooplankton to massive whales. Not only are phytoplankton a source of sustenance for aquatic life. According to a 2015 article from earthsky.org How Much Do Oceans Add To The World’s Oxygen?, “scientists estimate that between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere” is produced by these free-floating microscopic organisms.

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