'Junk food' diet may threaten marine populations

2019-04-03 03:06:13

By Catherine Brahic OVER-FISHING and changes in climate could leave marine animals struggling on a “junk food” diet of low-calorie prey, putting dwindling populations under even more pressure. That is the conclusion of a team lead by Henrik Österblom of Stockholm University in Sweden, who explored the controversial “junk food hypothesis” in 47 marine species. Andrew Trites of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, came up with the hypothesis when studying the collapse of Steller sea lions off Alaska. Trites believes changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation have favoured one of the sea lions’ prey, the low-fat pollock,