SERIOUS MONDAY: CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS WORLD’S FISH POPULATION

Climate change and other factors are having a devastating effect on the world’s fish population, according to experts.

And they are predicting that commercial fishing stocks could collapse within decades unless urgent action is taken.

A new report, Dead Waters, also warns that almost half of the world’s coral reefs could die by 2050 as a result of rising temperatures. In addition, a slowing of ocean currents could prevent nutrients from being transporting to some of the most valuable fishing areas.

The report, from the United Nations Environment Programme says climate change is compounding existing problems such as over- fishing.  Rising temperatures are now threatening tuna spawning grounds as well as plankton and small fish which underpin sealife food chains.

The authors of the report say we are getting some alarming signals of dramatic change in our oceans and the recovery from the changes we’re causing could take a million years.

Some of the most affected areas currently provide around half of the world’s fish catch but the report says carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels create an acid when dissolved in water and over the coming decades, will make the sea more acidic than at any time in the past 65 million years.  By 2100, they predict, this could stop molluscs in some seas from forming shells.

Susan

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