Report comparing past mass extinction events warns that hunting and killing of ocean’s largest species will disrupt ecosystems for millions of years. (...)
But today’s “sixth extinction” is unique in the way that the largest species, such as great white sharks, blue whales and southern bluefin tuna, are being pushed to the brink, due to humans’ tendency to fish for larger species more often than smaller ones.
The danger is disproportionate to the percentage of threatened species, with the authors warning the loss of giants would “disrupt ecosystems for millions of years even at levels of taxonomic loss far below those of previous mass extinctions”. (...)