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Current Affairs

Ocean warming effects on fish

Date: 18 August 2021 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

A new study has found out that warming of oceans due to global warming is likely to wipe out commonly eaten fishes.

 

Background

The warming of oceans is likely to continue over the 21st century, according to the IPCC climate change report.

 

Details

  • By 2100, the amount of ocean warming is likely to double from the levels observed in 1971 even if we minimize carbon emissions by 2030.

  • Under a high case scenario, the number may be 4-8 times higher. The main reason may be related to human influence.

  • Warming of oceans will likely create hypoxic and anoxic water. In hypoxic zones there will be low oxygen concentration and anoxic zones there will be no dissolved oxygen.

 

Effects on fishes

  • Many major fishes are adapted to certain ocean temperatures. Increase in temperature will put them in stress, leading to their decrease.

  • Many fishes migrate towards polar waters in search of ideal temperature. Due to increase of temperature, their migration patterns will be affected.

  • The number of open-water species present in tropical areas since the last 40 years has declined by more than half.

  • Many varieties of fishes such as herrings, sardines and pilchards will decrease in their size due to unviable survival environment.

  • A study also found that baby sharks born in warm waters were smaller in size. Their metabolic activities also declined tremendously.

  • The aerobic capacity of fish will be limited due to global warming. Their physiological performance will get affected.

  • Genetic changes were also observed in fishes due to changes in seasonal characteristics. This will also help in understanding future environmental effects.

 

Effects on humans

Large number of commonly eaten fishes will disappear. This will have a long term effect on food security and nutrition.