Global fishing in 2014 (Total: 110,625 x 10³ t). Graphic: Sea Around Us

By Helen Davidson
14 June 2017

DARWIN (The Guardian) – As climate change pushes marine species towards cooler waters, and the fishing industry expands around the globe, the tropics are emptying out, a leading fisheries expert has warned.

The federal government is expected to release its new management plan for marine reserves in coming weeks, after a 2016 review recommended winding back protections. However Dr Daniel Pauly has called for the creation of more, saying they are the only realistic form of mitigation to the current crisis.

Pauly, principal investigator at the Sea Around Us research organisation, said it was unknown whether the “explosion” of fishing industries or global warming was having the biggest impact on fish stocks, but both needed to be addressed.

“The depth, the distance from the coast, all of these were factors which protected fish. Now we go everywhere … now nothing protects the fish,” he said during an observation tour of Darwin’s tropical harbour.

“Climate change is something that is already being perceived by fish. It’s already happening and they’re already moving,” he said.

Dr Daniel Pauly says an expanding fishing industry and climate change are contributing to the emptying of fish species in the Australian tropics as they seek cooler waters. Photo: Helen Davidson / The Guardian

Warmer waters were pushing marine species away from the equator at a rate of about 50km per decade as they followed the ideal temperatures for feeding and spawning.

“In temperate areas you will have the fish coming from a warmer area, and another one leaving. You’ll have a lot of transformation but they will actually – at least in terms of fishery – adapt. In the tropics you don’t have the replacement, you have only fish leaving.”

Research by Pauly and the Sea Around Us has repeatedly called for greater focus on fisheries data from a global perspective rather than local, to properly assess the impact of commercial competition and climate change. […]

Pauly said there were only a few nations – of which Australia was one – that studied the species loss in the tropics.

“You can have entire fisheries collapsing without knowing because you cannot separate the global warming-induced migration from the reduction due to fishing, or even pollution. So we will never know for sure why this or that collapse has occurred, except in a few cases.” [more]

Marine expert warns of climate emergency as fish abandon tropical waters

2 comments :

  1. Dennis Mitchell said...

    Locally our spring fed trout streams have turned to muddy ditches full of "trash" fish. Climate change, industrial run off from mega dairies, or wells draining the water table,it does not really matter we just keep shiting in our sandbox. Then the few surviving creeks are so heavily stocked with hatchery trout that natives are found only in a few guarded fly fishing creeks. These are heavely regulated and policed for the elite fishing croud. Many years back I caught an egg filled glorious female who swallowed a lure. My only choice was to eat her. The joy has gone. Just the idea of driving on such a frivolous adventure is taking on evil undertones. I've planted pollinators around the homestead and we have been blessed by some humugus humble bees. We better enjoy them before we kill them off too!  

  2. Irhologram said...

    Equatorial fish all moving north.
    “You can have entire fisheries collapsing without knowing because you cannot separate the global warming-induced migration from the reduction due to fishing, or even pollution. So we will never know for sure why this or that collapse has occurred, except in a few cases.” [more]
    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/06/marine-expert-warns-of-climate.html

    Questions: Why are the fish considered to all be moving North? The article is about evacuation because the water at the equator is too hot. Are none moving South toward Antartica, which is colder than the warming Arctic and so...would present a larger area of water more cool? Is this just Western world chauvinism/presumption by marine biologists or by the author?

    IF ALL or most fish are choosing to migrate north, isn't this a "reveal" in itself? Would science not require additional queries? What could the reason be? Are there anamolies to avoid in the Southern Hemisphere? Is there a magnetic influence by the North but not the South Pole? Does this in any way tie in with a dozen elite, religious, political, and royal visits to Antarctica in the last 18 months?

    In the Northern Hemisphere, pollution is greater in every form, including radiation, plastics, and fertilizer, but its interesting that many elites have chosen escape to South America to avoid the consequences of Climate Change. I realize that fish don't make decisions based on riots in the streets, yet why would they head one direction and not another? Is there a reason the study would fake that fish don't migrate South?

    Please clarify. Do you believe fish are also swimming South and that this study/author has misspoken? If its accurate, why do fish avoid the Southern Hemisphere?  

 

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