Climate change sees fish grow faster in warmer water

Read article at Reuters.

Climate change is affecting the growth of fish, with those living in warmer, shallow waters growing faster and species in cooling deep ocean waters growing slower, according to an Australian study.

"Growth rates in the deep-water fish are slowing because water temperatures down there have been falling, apparently for the last several hundred years," oceanographer Thresher told Reuters on Friday.

"Fish growth rates are closely tied with water temperatures, so warming surface waters mean the shallow-water fish are growing more quickly, while the deep water fish are growing more slowly than they were a century ago."

Populations of large marine species are subject to two major stress factors, commercial fishing and climate change, and the heavy exploitation increases the sensitivity of species to environmental effects, said Thresher.

Changes in sea temperature were obtained from a 60-year-long record at Maria Island and by using 400-year-old deep-ocean corals to measure temperature at depth.

To gauge the growth rates of fish the scientists studied the earbones of eight fish species which show similar characteristics to the growth rings used to determine the age of a tree.


blog comments powered by Disqus