Marine heat waves could seriously affect the fishing industry • Earth.com
A new study published in the journal Scientists progress found that increasing marine heat waves would dramatically amplify the impact of climate change on fish and fisheries. According to researchers led by UBC Institute of Oceans and Fisheries, global warming could wipe out thousands of tonnes of fish around the world.
Using complex computer modeling, scientists predicted that in the worst-case scenario, in which no action is taken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, there would be a six percent annual drop in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. potential fish catches and 77 percent of the exploited marine catches. species will decrease in biomass.
Due to the combined influence of extreme marine temperature events and temperature increases linked to climate change, fishing income could be reduced by an average of three percent globally and employment by two percent. , which would mean the loss of millions of jobs.
“These extreme annual temperatures will be an added shock to an overloaded system,” said lead author Dr. William Cheung, director of UBC’s Institute of Oceans and Fisheries.
“We see that in countries where fisheries are already weakened by long-term changes, such as warming oceans and deoxygenation, the addition of the shock of extreme temperatures will exacerbate the impacts to a point that will likely exceed the capacity of adaptation of these fisheries. This is no different from how COVID-19 stresses the health care system by adding an additional burden. “
According to the co-author of the study, Dr Thomas Frölicher, professor at the Department of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern, these extreme temperature phenomena are expected to increase in frequency in the near future.
“Today’s marine heat waves and their severe impacts on fisheries are indicators of the future as these events generate environmental conditions that long-term global warming will not create for decades,” said the Dr Frölicher.
Scientists believe that some areas will be more affected than others, including the Indo-Pacific region, the eastern tropical Pacific and some countries in the West African region. To avoid significant losses, active management of fisheries – such as adjusting catch quotas in years when fisheries are affected by extreme temperatures, or even closing fisheries in severe cases when stocks need to be rebuilt – will be of vital importance.
“This study really highlights the need to develop ways to deal with extremes in marine temperature, and soon,” concluded Dr Cheung. “We need to put in place mechanisms to deal with it. “
Through Andrei Ionescu, Terre.com Editor-in-chief