Over the past years, scientists, experts, researchers and other conservation groups have warned about the alarming state of the flora and faunas all around the globe. Now, a new study has just confirmed what we’ve all been afraid of.

Fishes in the oceans are depleting at an alarming state.

Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey collected data from 1930 to 2010, which showed that fish stock has declined by 4.1 percent on average during that time period. Meanwhile, some regions like East China Sea and the North Sea dropped by 15 to 35 percent.

“The 4 percent decline sounds small, but it’s 1.4 million metric tons of fish from 1930 to 2010,” Chris Free, lead researcher from the University of California, Santa Barbara, told The New York Times.

They believe climate change and overfishing are the main causes for this sudden decline, not to mention, the continuous water pollution.

“Fish populations can only tolerate so much warming, though,” Olaf Jensen, one of the team of researchers, said in a statement. “Many of the species that have benefited from the warming so far are likely to start declining as temperatures continue to rise.”

The warming of waters means less oxygen for the fishes. This will lead to impair the fishes’ bodily functions and eventually, kill them.

The researchers are calling on responsible and active management of fisheries in order to catch fish without depleting their population numbers in the long term. If fish populations continue to decline drastically over the following years, it would not only worry coastal countries who rely largely on fishes as part of their diets, but it would also affect the 56 million people worldwide, who work in the fisheries industry.

“We recommend that fisheries managers eliminate overfishing, rebuild fisheries and account for climate change in fisheries management decisions,” said Free. “Policymakers can prepare for regional disparities in fish catches by establishing trade agreements and partnerships to share seafood between winning and losing regions.”