Warming Waters Push Fish To Cooler Climes
The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.
As a warming climate is heating up their coastal habitats, fish and other marine animals are shifting their habitats further north quite rapidly.
The study considered 686 marine species ranging from bass and flounder to crab and lobster. It projected how much warmer oceans would get over the next 80 years, using various scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases and the rate of global warming.
Some would move just a few miles. Others, like the Alaskan snow crab that gained fame on the television show Deadliest Catch, a lot more. They are projected to move up to 900 miles farther north, really dramatic changes for a species that’s very important.
But even a shift of a couple hundred miles can put fish or lobster out of range for small boats with limited fuel and time to get to a new fish habitat. And it’s a serious problem for organizations that manage fish stocks.