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05 Nov 2009: Atlantic Fish Stocks Are
Moving North as Ocean Warms, NOAA Finds

About half of 36 fish stocks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean have shifted north over the last four decades as ocean temperatures have warmed, according to a new U.S. study. Comparing data for dozens of fish stock from 1968 to 2007 — and using ocean temperature records from the same period — researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that many species in the waters from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to the Canadian border have shifted northward or migrated farther offshore. Some species have nearly disappeared from U.S. waters altogether. “They all seem to be adapting to changing temperatures and finding places where their chances of survival as a population are greater,” said Janet Nye, a NOAA researcher and lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. Researchers selected fish stocks that were consistently caught in greater numbers in NOAA's annual fish surveys and were considered important commercially or ecologically, including Atlantic cod and haddock, and yellowtail and winter flounder.


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