Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on March 4, 2019

Bookmark and Share

The World Is Losing Fish to Eat

The World Is Losing Fish to Eat thumbnail

Fish populations are declining as oceans warm, putting a key source of food and income at risk for millions of people around the world, according to new research published Thursday.

The study found that the amount of seafood that humans could sustainably harvest from a wide range of species shrank by 4.1 percent from 1930 to 2010, a casualty of human-caused climate change.

“That 4 percent decline sounds small, but it’s 1.4 million metric tons of fish from 1930 to 2010,” said Chris Free, the lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Science.

Scientists have warned that global warming will put pressure on the world’s food supplies in coming decades. But the new findings — which separate the effects of warming waters from other factors, like overfishing — suggest that climate change is already having a serious impact on seafood.

Fish make up 17 percent of the global population’s intake of animal protein, and as much as 70 percent for people living in some coastal and island countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Fish provide a vital source of protein for over half of the global population, and some 56 million people worldwide are supported in some way by marine fisheries,” Dr. Free said.

As the oceans have warmed, some regions have been particularly hard-hit. In the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Japan, fish populations declined by as much as 35 percent over the period of the study.

“The ecosystems in East Asia have seen some of the largest decline in fisheries productivity,” Dr. Free said. “And that region is home to some of the largest growing human populations and populations that are highly dependent on seafood.”

Now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Free began the research while a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University.

Marine life has been subjected to some of the most drastic effects of climate change. The oceans have absorbed 93 percent of the heat that is trapped by the greenhouse gases that humans pump into the atmosphere.

A study published in January, also in Science, found that ocean temperatures were increasing far faster than previous estimates.

Amid these changing conditions, fish are shifting where they live, in search of their preferred temperatures. High ocean temperatures can kill off both the fish themselves and the sources of food they depend on.

“Fish are like Goldilocks: They don’t like their water too hot or too cold,” said Malin L. Pinsky, an associate professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University and a co-author of the new study.

In about a quarter of the regions studied, fish had expanded their range. Off the Atlantic coast of the United States, sustainable catches of black sea bass increased by 6 percent over the study period.

Another quarter of the regions saw no significant changes in fish populations, like the northwest Atlantic Ocean, where Atlantic herring are abundant.

But half the regions did not fare as well. The northeast Atlantic Ocean — home to Atlantic cod, the mainstay of fish and chips — saw a 34 percent decline in sustainable catches.

Over all, more populations of fish declined than increased over the eight decades in the study.

Atlantic cod drying in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.CreditMartin Zwick/UIG, via Getty Images
Image
Atlantic cod drying in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.CreditMartin Zwick/UIG, via Getty Images

The researchers focused on sustainable catches, using a measure developed by the United Nations that quantifies the amount of food that can be repeatedly harvested from a base population of fish. “Fisheries are like a bank account, and we’re trying to live off the interest,” Dr. Pinsky said.

Several previous studies have predicted that climate change would lead to fewer ocean fish in the future, but the new research looked at historical data to determine that the declines had already begun.

“This is going to be one of those groundbreaking studies that gets cited over and over again,” said Trevor Branch, an associate professor at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, who was not involved in the study. “Most of what I’ve seen before in terms of climate-change impacts have been speculative, in terms of, ‘We think this is what’s going to happen in the future.’ This one’s different.”

The researchers used a data set of 235 fish populations located in 38 ecological regions around the globe. The detailed data told them not only where the fish were but also how they reacted to environmental effects like changing water temperatures.

The team compared that data to records that showed how ocean temperatures had changed over time, broken down by the various regions. These regional analyses were important, because some parts of the ocean have warmed faster than others.

“We then connected those to which populations responded positively, negatively, and which didn’t respond at all,” Dr. Pinsky said.

The data revealed some other trends. Fish populations in the colder parts of their ranges tended to fare better than those located in warmer areas — for those fish, the extra heat was too much. This was especially troubling to the researchers, because the data they used was less detailed in the tropics. Fish losses in those regions may have been higher than in the regions the study focused on, Dr. Pinsky said.

Warm areas fared even worse when they were overfished. The researchers suggested that overfishing made fish even more vulnerable to temperature changes by hurting their ability to reproduce and damaging the ecosystem.

Guarding against overfishing and improving the overall management of fisheries can help, the researchers said. But ultimately, they said, the solution lies in slowing or halting climate change.

A separate study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, found that limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels — a goal of the Paris climate agreement — could result in billions of dollars in extra revenue for fisheries globally. Much of that would be in the developing world, where many people rely on fish for protein.

“We hope that this highlights the importance of accounting for the fact that climate change is driving shifts in productivity,” Dr. Free said of his research. “Fishery managers need to come up with new innovative ways of accounting for those shifts. That includes reducing catch limits in warm negative years, but it can also include increasing catch limits in cooler positive years. Having regulations that are adaptive to climate change is going to be really important for maximizing food potential.”

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article, relying on a news release from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, stated incorrectly the share of fish and seafood in the global population’s protein intake. Fish and seafood make up 17 percent of the animal protein consumed worldwide, not 17 percent of the overall protein intake.

NY Times



45 Comments on "The World Is Losing Fish to Eat"

  1. makati1 on Mon, 4th Mar 2019 6:39 pm 

    A lot of words signifying nothing. Typical NYT article for the dumbed down masses.

    You can “study” the situation all you want, but nothing is going to be done about global warming. Nothing. At this point it would be a waste of time and energy. We are well past the point of saving ourselves from extinction in the not too distant future.

    The gradual die-off of humanity will eventually end when the survivors are too genetically poisoned from our own pollution to reproduce. Game over.

  2. DerHundistLos on Mon, 4th Mar 2019 8:26 pm 

    Dr. Jeremy Jackson US Naval Academy Presentation: Ocean Apocalypse

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zMN3dTvrwY&t=123s

  3. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 5th Mar 2019 4:46 am 

    The planet is completely wrecked.

    The radiator is clogged,
    there’s no freon in the air conditioner,
    the piston rings are worn out,
    its blowing oil,
    the leather seats are worn and moldy,
    and the power windows don’t work anymore.

    SO COME ON DOWN
    to Texas Ted’s USED PLANET LOT.
    We got Planets, Planets, Planets!

    Need a better planet? How about this one,
    1.1 Earth masses, multiple oceans,
    low continental drift, very stable
    magnetic field, and an excellent,
    excellent supply of land animals.

    Only driven by a little old God on Sundays.

    WE TAKE TRADE-INS ! Your old planet is
    completely shot? No worries, TEXAS TED’S
    USED PLANET LOT will take that klunker off
    your hands and you can drive away in a
    JUST LIKE NEW, QUALITY CHECKED PLANET
    to plunder.

    We wont be undersold.
    Easy financing available.
    NO PAYMENTS FOR THE FIRST SOLAR ORBIT!

  4. Gaia on Tue, 5th Mar 2019 7:50 am 

    The Pacific Ocean is still being contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s wastewater. And yet the MSM has kept us in the dark after almost 8 years since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.

  5. peakyeast on Tue, 5th Mar 2019 11:07 am 

    DerHunds video is the real deal. Together with “End of the line”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Zw0_4CH1A

  6. Sissyfuss on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 12:53 pm 

    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he scrapes the ocean clean.

  7. claes on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 2:11 pm 

    The best we could hope for is a realy great natural/man made EMP-disaster (electro magnetic pulse), that would paralyse the global production/distribution system.
    Such an event would give the biosphere a chance to rehabilitate areas that have been long lost, and give threatened species another chance to survive.
    Mankind could chose to do this on their own account, rather than facing the destruction of the biosphere as it seems we are doing to day.

  8. makati1 on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 5:19 pm 

    claes, commonsense does not rule the world today, money does.

    Yes, a massive EMP would certainly stop progression in its tracks. It would also kill off a few billion in countries that rely the most on electric and satellites to exist. We dodged the solar bullets so far…

  9. annonymouse-the-tard-aka-fmr-paultard on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 7:23 pm 

    i’m strangely optimistic on this once since i think the ocean has tons of food – for fishes
    a bit of genetic engineering and automated nursery operations, this food source can be renewable.

    anyways, if we have a carp problem then we should be able to cause an ocean fishery “problem”

  10. Chrome Mags on Fri, 8th Mar 2019 3:31 pm 

    I think we need to do a Trump alternate universe on this problem. Just deny there is a problem and denigrate anyone claiming differently, and if necessary have Trump hire people to form a board of inquiry to simply come out and say everything is fine.

  11. OAC_AKA_fmr-paultard on Fri, 8th Mar 2019 3:45 pm 

    we can set up fish reserves but they would become playgrounds for libtards

  12. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:14 am 

    Before my alter-ego, fmr-paultard, takes over for awhile, please be advised of the following:

    I’m so sorry PO.com readers for losing my shit this morning. I realize it’s not too difficult to figure out I routinely engage in identity theft and deploy multiple sock puppets.

    Why? I am sick.

  13. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:16 am 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:14 am

  14. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:16 am 

    Before my alter-ego, fmr-paultard, takes over for awhile, please be advised of the following:

    I’m so sorry PO.com readers for losing my shit this morning. I realize it’s not too difficult to figure out I routinely engage in identity theft and deploy multiple sock puppets.

    Why? I am sick.

  15. fmr-paultard aka Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:24 am 

    If this statement from my alter-ego, fmr-paultard, doesn’t prove I am certifiably nuts, nothing will.

    “i’m strangely optimistic on this once since i think the ocean has tons of food – for fishes
    a bit of genetic engineering and automated nursery operations, this food source can be renewable.

    anyways, if we have a carp problem then we should be able to cause an ocean fishery “problem”

  16. JuanP Sock on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:25 am 

    fmr-paultard aka Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:24 am

  17. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:25 am 

    If this statement from my alter-ego, fmr-paultard, doesn’t prove I am certifiably nuts, nothing will.

    “i’m strangely optimistic on this once since i think the ocean has tons of food – for fishes
    a bit of genetic engineering and automated nursery operations, this food source can be renewable.

    anyways, if we have a carp problem then we should be able to cause an ocean fishery “problem”

  18. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:27 am 

    We are all JuanP.

  19. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:33 am 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:27 am

  20. JuanP socks on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:34 am 

    intellectual nematode Alert! said Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 4:11 am Davy on Sat, 9th…
    Davy aka fmr-paultard on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:28 am
    Davy aka fmr-paultard on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:29 am

  21. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:34 am 

    We are all JuanP.
    Everybody is JuanP (me included).
    I see JuanP everywhere at once, seriously.

  22. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:44 am 

    JuanP on Thu, 30th Jun 2016 4:56 pm
    I think I could use my antisocial, psychopathic, sociopathic skills to convince people to vote for Trump. I can be very convincing when I want and I am excellent at manipulating people.
    JuanP on Sun, 30th Aug 2015 5:40 am
    …then you simply have a higher opinion of humans than I do. But what can I do? I am after all an admitted antisocial misanthrope. I just think most people suck!
    JuanP on Fri, 12th Aug 2016 10:58 am
    I stopped caring about humanity’s future a long time ago once I realized it was a waste of my time and energy. Now I think that it would be best for life on Earth if we ceased to exist as a species.
    JuanP on Wed, 14th Sep 2016 9:59 pm
    I struggle with the fact that I belong to the same species; I find myself emotionally and intellectually incapable of accepting the fact. That is why I consider myself a sui generis individual rather than a human animal.
    JuanP on Sun, 26th Jun 2016 12:22 am
    As far as I am concerned human beings are a bunch of arrogant and retarded ignorant fools and they deserve what’s coming. Call me selfish if you want, I don’t give a fuck!
    JuanP on Fri, 15th May 2015 11:21 am
    I did therapy for over a decade and most of it was a waste, but I had one therapist for a year who understood my issues and that helped, though I am still thoroughly screwed up.
    JuanP on Tue, 22nd Dec 2015 6:57 am
    They make me smile and happy and give me a brief respite from my cronic and acute depression.
    JuanP on Sun, 17th Aug 2014 8:19 pm
    I have suffered from cronic and acute clinical depression for most of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    JuanP on Mon, 23rd May 2016 8:53 am
    I was just telling my wife yesterday that I would very willingly give my arms, legs, tongue, eyes, ears, nuts, and dick to experience life like normal people do for just one hour to know what it feels like. I have been a seriously depressed realist since I have a memory. My first memory of my life is of leaning against a tree alone in my kindergarten’s playground looking at all the other kids playing, thinking how stupid their behavior was, and wondering why I wasn’t like them. I basically don’t interact with normal people anymore. They have nothing to offer me and I don’t want to give them anything.

    I am back, bitches! I just got back from a surfing vacation in Costa Rica. I am recharged and refreshed, and ready to continue fucking with the Exceptionalist and his multiple personalities for the foreseeable future.

  23. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 9:56 am 

    Anyone who dares disagree with his omnipotence is labeled a “JuanP”.

    You are now warned.

  24. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 10:13 am 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 9:56 am

  25. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 10:14 am 

    Anyone who dares disagree with his omnipotence is labeled a “JuanP”.

    You are now warned.

  26. AFDF on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:32 am 

    yeah i’m wrong about genetic engineering and fish nurseries
    i’m also not into fish reserves. this is very popular on youtube and they’re just playgrounds for libtards

    the problem is the scale of catch is so huge

    ps please aswange/makato and eurotard attack supertard harder.

  27. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:46 am 

    I Want MY Mommy!!!!!

  28. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:52 am 

    Davy wants his mommy.

    LOL!

  29. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:24 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:46 am

  30. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:25 pm 

    I Want MY Mommy!!!!!

  31. JuanP sock on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:26 pm 

    AFDF on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:32 am

  32. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:27 pm 

    AFDF on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:32 am

    yeah i’m wrong about genetic engineering and fish nurseries
    i’m also not into fish reserves. this is very popular on youtube and they’re just playgrounds for libtards
    the problem is the scale of catch is so huge
    ps please aswange/makato and eurotard attack supertard harder.

  33. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:21 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:46 am

    Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:24 pm

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:25 pm

    JuanP sock on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:26 pm

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:27 pm

  34. Davy Identity Theft on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:28 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 10:14 am

  35. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:29 pm 

    fmr-paultard aka Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:24 am

  36. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 3:57 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:21 pm

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 11:46 am
    Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:24 pm
    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:25 pm
    JuanP sock on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:26 pm
    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 12:27 pm
    Davy Identity Theft on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:28 pm

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 10:14 am
    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 2:29 pm

    fmr-paultard aka Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019

  37. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 4:16 pm 

    Sorry for all of this crazy shit everyone.

    My JuanP obsession has me feeling more emotionally unstable then usual.

  38. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:42 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 4:16 pm

  39. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:42 pm 

    Sorry for all of this crazy shit everyone.

    My JuanP obsession has me feeling more emotionally unstable then usual.

  40. Davy Identity Theft on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:23 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:42 pm

  41. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:28 pm 

    Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:42 pm

  42. Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:31 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:28 pm

  43. JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:32 pm 

    Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 5:42 pm

  44. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:32 pm 

    Not Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:31 pm

  45. Davy on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:33 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 9th Mar 2019 6:32 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *