Fish populations take a dive as oceans warm

Mar 01, 2019, 7:08 AM EST
(Source: Roy Chan/flickr)
(Source: Roy Chan/flickr)

The seafood supply from warming oceans have dropped by 4.1 percent from 1930 to 2010, which means that the sustainable fish harvest is down by 1.4 million metric tons, a decline that threatens not only the food source of a sizeable population but could bring notable economic ramifications.

A new study, published in the journal Science, found that marine ecosystems in East Asia have suffered the most damage due to climate change, with fish populations in the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Japan plummeting by nearly 35 percent over the span eight decades, writes The New York Times.

One of the researchers calls this study a groundbreaking work, as it does more than just speculating and provides the evidence that fish decline, predicted by previous studies, is already under way.

These are testing times of fisheries, but the study offers some hope as well. The researchers found that well-managed fisheries can survive the onslaught of rising temperatures, provided they stop overfishing and give gene pools the time to adapt to changing conditions, reports Science.