Wednesday 16 October 2019

Fish crisis: Stocks hit by climate change

Stock picture
Stock picture

Josh Gabbatiss

Numbers of fish being hauled out of the ocean have fallen by nearly 5pc as stocks are hit by rising sea temperatures.

Cod, herring and various shellfish species are among the creatures already suffering due to climate change, according to a new analysis examining data from around the world.

The decline has been even more pronounced in key fishing regions such as the East China Sea and the North Sea, where climate-induced losses have been as high as 35pc. This devastation is being aggravated by overfishing, and it threatens the livelihoods of the 56 million people who rely on fisheries for survival.

While soaring ocean temperatures are expected to cause havoc with marine ecosystems in the future, the new findings are a grim reminder that climate change is already a reality.

To conduct their ambitious analysis, the scientists examined fishing data on maximum sustainable catches stretching back to 1930, covering 235 populations of 124 marine species, and linked it with changes in ocean temperatures.

In total, this represented around a third of the catch from around the world across this period.

These results were published in the journal 'Science'.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News