Feeds

Climate change threatens to SHRINK FISH AND CHIP SUPPERS

Teeny oxygen-starved cod will hit global food supplies

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.