Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Marine Parks Help Global Fish Stocks Withstand Warming

Fishing restrictions can help fisheries cope with climate change, new research shows. (Credit: Thangaraj Kumaravel/Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
New and expanded marine parks and fishing rules could be powerful antidotes for threats of famine as fisheries dwindle from climate change and overfishing, new research has shown.

An ambitious new analysis of big marine data produced from thousands of dives by citizen scientists worldwide has detected a powerful link between the biodiversity of a coral or rocky reef and the size of the fisheries it supports.

“Biodiversity — the number of species and how different they are — is as important as climate to global production of fish,” said Emmett Duffy, a Smithsonian Institution scientist who led the analysis, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  “This was a big surprise."

Previous research has linked climate change with biodiversity declines in the oceans.  The new findings show that means warming could also reduce fish stocks, which have been falling as fishermen reach deeper into the oceans for their hauls.

The findings come as the U.S. and other countries create new marine parks to protect ocean biodiversity, and as the world strives through a new United Nations treaty to stem runaway climate pollution.  Most of the extra heat from global warming ends up in the oceans.

Read more at Marine Parks Help Global Fish Stocks Withstand Warming

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