North Sea fish on the move to cooler waters

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
13 May 2005, at 1:00am

UK - Global warming has forced fish stocks in the North Sea scores of miles north to cooler waters, according to a study by climate change scientists. Major fish species, including cod and haddock, have sought out cooler waters in response to a 1C rise in the temperature of the North Sea over the past 25 years. In the same period, more exotic southern species have encroached on North Sea waters and established themselves. The shift in fish populations has profound implications for fisheries which have already driven stocks to record lows, the researchers say. Scientists at the University of East Anglia and researchers at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in Lowestoft pored over fisheries data from 1977 to 2001 and looked at the relative abundance of catches. They also examined records of sea temperatures, general climatic patterns and the effects of the Gulf Stream. The researchers found that 21 species had shifted their distributions in line with the rise in sea temperature, and 18 species had moved much further north. According to the study, published today in the journal Science, the North Sea cod population has moved 73 miles towards the Arctic while haddock have moved 65 miles north. Source: The Guardian