Kasey Dresser| May 20, 2019
This weeks segment looks at how fish populations are decreasing as ocean temperatures continue to increase.
Overfishing is not the only factor decreasing fish populations.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
A study published in the journal, Science, tracked the changes of 235 fish and shellfish populations from 1930 to 2010. Throughout that time, the Earth’s ocean temperatures have increased on average by half a degree Celcius.
Eight percent of the fish and shellfish in the study showed depleting populations. Four percent of the populations increased however, since fish like black sea bass thrive in warm water. As water temperatures continue to increase, those gains will not be sustained.
Christopher Free, a quantitative ecologist at the University of California Santa Barbara, referred to this trend as the fish and shellfish reaching their heat thresholds. Currently,124 species of fish and shellfish are on route to becoming an unstable food source.
3.2 billion people worldwide rely on seafood as their primary source of protein. These findings are meant to inform local fisheries of the changing populations so they can begin to take these findings into account.
For more information, visit Iowa environmental focus dot org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Sara E. Mason.