09 May 2012:
Warming Waters Attract
New Fish Species to British Waters
Warming ocean temperatures have changed the distribution of many critical marine species
off the British coast, as warm water fish are increasingly expanding into northern waters and cold-water species are swimming to colder depths, according to a new report. The report of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership
— published by the UK and Scottish governments — found that warm water species such as the bluefin tuna and thresher sharks are more frequently appearing in the waters off southwest England and squid have become increasingly abundant in the North Sea. One southern species, the bib, has moved north by 212 miles (342 kilometers) in the last two decades, while common North Sea species such as cod and lemon sole are swimming at an average of 5.5 meters deeper per decade. The report, which is based on an analysis of scientific studies, warns that these changes pose potential threats for native species and the commercial fishing industry as changing water temperatures could introduce invasive species and new diseases. “The truth is that climate change is having a big impact on distribution of fish stocks and this is going to present some significant challenges for policymakers, fisheries managers and for fishing industry itself,” said Richard Benyon, the UK minister for the marine environment.