Fish moving poleward at rate of 26 kilometres per decade

Caribbean islands (stock image). “The tropics will be the overall losers,” says William Cheung, associate professor at the UBC Fisheries Centre and co-author of this study. “This area has a high dependence on fish for food, diet and nutrition. We’ll see a loss of fish populations that are important to the fisheries and communities in these regions.”

Fish moving poleward at rate of 26 kilometres per decade

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, finds a new University of Britsh Columbia study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into the Arctic and Antarctic waters. Using the same climate change scenarios as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, researchers projected a large-scale shift of marine fish and invertebrates. In the worst-case scenario, where the Earth’s oceans warm by three degrees Celsius by 2100, fish could move away from their current habitats at a rate of 26 kilometres per decade. Under the best-case scenario, where the Earth warms by one degree Celsius, fish would move 15 kilometres every decade. This is consistent with changes in the last few decades….

 

M. C. Jones, W. W. L. Cheung. Multi-model ensemble projections of climate change effects on global marine biodiversity. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu172

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