Fish stocks changing habitats due to climate crisis ‘could lead to international disputes’

Changes could end up collapsing fishing agreements, lead author says

<p>Climate crisis is leading to rising sea temperatures</p>

Climate crisis is leading to rising sea temperatures

The climate crisis is affecting the movement of nearly half of the fish stocks that cross international borders in a trend that risks sparking international conflict, according to researchers.

By the end of the century, 45 per cent of these populations will have shifted significantly from their historical habitats and migration paths, a new study found.

This figure will be just under a quarter by 2030, the researchers projected.

Dr Juliano Palacios-Abrantes, the lead author, said the findings could “completely change” the dynamics between countries who fish populations that move between international waters.

While changes to distributions of these catches have been underway since the start of the 21st century, he said: “We will see even more dramatic changes by 2030 and onwards, given current emissions rates.”

The study - published in the journal Global Change Biology - said the climate crisis was forcing marine species to change their usual habitat, such as moving poleward or into deeper waters - as the environment changes.

The climate emergency has been found to be changing the marine landscape with rising sea temperatures and reductions in oxygen levels.

The University of British Columbia research found countries in tropical locations such as the Caribbean and South Asia will be hit first by changes in the movement of fished populations shared between nations as sea temperatures rise, although northern countries will also be affected.

The study looked at shifts in distributions of more than 9,000 fish stocks that move between waters, which make up 80 per cent of catch taken from the world’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

Dr Palacios-Abrantes said changes in where catch is distributed could spark tension over who can claim ownership over them.

It could end up collapsing international agreements, the lead author added.

Studies have previously raised concerns over the impact of rising temperatures on fish stocks, with findings showing they have been contributing to declines in populations.

Research last month found the supply of farmed seafood will drop by 16 per cent over the next 70 years unless more is done to tackle the climate crisis.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in