Fri, 7 January 2022
SUFB 1254 - We now have evidence that warmer waters with less oxygen will produce smaller fish dominated communities
There is a prediction that says the ocean will have warmer water with less oxygen that will be more conducive to smaller mesopelagic fish. A study was recently published in Science and covered on Mongabay news that provides empirical evidence from 130,000 years ago (where, warmer and less oxygenated waters occurred) that shows the prediction could happen.
The same conditions that were present 130,000 years ago are predicted to happen in 2100 that will have severe consequences for global fisheries, especially in the Humboldt Current System off the coast of Peru, where the study was conducted.
The Humboldt Current System is home to one of the most productive waters in the world and accounts for over 15% of the global catch. Warmer, less oxygenated waters could cripple the fisheries as smaller fish will not meet the global food demand.
Fisheries management methods such as fish quotas and marine protected areas should be employed to reduce the impact of overfishing that can accelerate the process of shifting to a smaller fish dominance.
Enforcement of the fisheries management policies will also be key in maintaining fish populations.