Fish Stocks around the World are in Danger

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There has been a new study done from the University of British Columbia and it’s not good news. Fish stocks around the world are being wiped out at an accelerating pace. Extreme temperatures caused by climate change will eliminate hundreds of thousands of tons from the world’s fishery catch. The latest heat wave that hit the Pacific coast wiped out billions of sea creatures who usually thrive along the coast.

There worst case scenario is calling for a decimation of the oceans food source. If no action is taken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say they expect a six per cent drop in the amount of potential catches per year. Also there could be a 77 per cent decrease in exploited species.

Now of course this is the worst case but even if there only half right the local wildlife that depends on the salmon runs each year could be effected. Every year the Eagles and the Bears and many more creatures depend on the salmon for their yearly food supply. Any large decrease in the worlds oceans of fish could be a global disaster in the making.

Millions of Jobs at stake

There are literally millions of jobs across the planet that depend on fishing. Not only jobs many small villages and towns on coasts around the world depend on the oceans for survival. With temperatures raging out of control around the globe fish species are being destroyed by the warming waters. Jobs by the millions will be lost which will cause and economic collapse for countries who rely on the oceans fishes.

The study suggests the effects from heat waves on fish stock would result in fisheries’ revenues being cut by about three per cent and employment being chopped by two per cent globally, resulting in a potential loss of millions of jobs.

Fish Stocks around the World are in Danger

Best Case Scenario

William Cheung, the lead author and director of UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, says the study highlights the immediate need for Canada to develop ways to deal with extreme temperatures.

He says better data and active fisheries management systems that account for changes in ocean conditions will be vital.

Cheung says potential adaptations include adjusting catch quotas in years when fish stocks are suffering from extreme temperature events or, in extreme cases, temporarily closing fisheries so stocks can replenish.

“We need to have the mechanisms in place to deal with this,” Cheung said. “We also need to think ahead about how to help coastal communities by reducing any potential hardships these interventions may place.”

The heat wave that hit Western Canada in June, which set an all-time Canadian temperature record and resulted in the estimated death of more than a billion marine animals along the Pacific coast, shows these extreme heat events are already happening and having negative effects on marine life, Cheung says.

“We now know these extreme temperature events will happen, so we need to reduce the long-term stress on our systems, in regard to both fish stocks and fisheries, and do a better job at reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “The current action is not efficient and we need to do more to achieve that.”

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