Feeds

Climate change threatens to SHRINK FISH AND CHIP SUPPERS

Teeny oxygen-starved cod will hit global food supplies

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Climate change could threaten the quintessential British meal, the venerable fish and chips, which will only be available in small portions or not at all if boffins are correct.

The scientists have warned that the body weight of fish, including North Sea haddock and cod, will drop if oceans warm up. The theory goes that warmer waters increases the metabolic rate in fish, which will increase the demand for oxygen. If there isn't enough oxygen to go around, then the fish body weight will drop, it is believed.

According to computer models, the maximum body weight for more than 600 species could shrink by 14 to 20 per cent between the years 2000 and 2050.

“We were surprised to see such a large decrease in fish size,” study lead author William Cheung, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, said.

“Marine fish are generally known to respond to climate change through changing distribution and seasonality. But the unexpectedly big effect that climate change could have on body size suggests that we may be missing a big piece of the puzzle of understanding climate change effects in the ocean.”

The researchers already know that the number of fish in the world's oceans is likely to decline with climate change, but the study shows that the ones that are left will still get smaller.

The fishes' growth is linked to their oxygen supply, an idea another UBC boffin, Daniel Pauly, first suggested thirty years ago. But this is the first time his idea has been applied to the global fish population.

“It’s a constant challenge for fish to get enough oxygen from water to grow, and the situation gets worse as fish get bigger,” Pauly, who also worked on this study, said.

“A warmer and less-oxygenated ocean, as predicted under climate change, would make it more difficult for bigger fish to get enough oxygen, which means they will stop growing sooner.”

The biggest effects of fish shrinking are likely to be seen in the tropics, but colder seas will also see the migration of those tropical fish as they warm, another factor impacting the size of fish in those waters.

The study was published in Nature Climate Change. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?