The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and experts warn that the fish populations that are essential for survival and livelihoods are at risk due to this year’s unrelenting heatwave in the North Atlantic.
The month of March saw an incredible rise in ocean surface temperatures, surpassing previous records by a startling 5 degrees Celsius. This disconcerting rise is a clear illustration of the unrelenting warming linked to human-induced climate change, as declared “beyond extreme” by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The oceans have absorbed an alarming 90% of the surplus heat produced by greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating this dangerous trend.
Scientists and fish expert Ian, said that natural events such as changes in wind patterns have caused the North Atlantic Ocean’s temperature to rise to previously unheard-of levels at the same time.
Although El Niño, a warming phenomenon in the eastern tropical Pacific, has affected ocean and air temperatures globally, there is still speculation about its relationship to the North Atlantic heatwave. Experts highlight how climate change is changing and how it is contributing to the severity and frequency of marine heatwaves, which might have disastrous effects on marine life similar to those on land.
Samuel an editor at LedAsk, says “ advanced satellite systems provide real-time monitoring of sea surface temperatures. This data aids in the early detection of heatwaves and enables scientists to track temperature anomalies and predict potential areas affected by warming waters.
According to Dr. Christopher Free of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Marine Institute, recent marine heatwaves have had a disruptive effect on fisheries all around the world. If the extreme heat in the North Atlantic continues, he warns of approaching disasters.
Fish populations in the ocean, which stretch from the east coast of North America to the United Kingdom and Western Europe, are delicately balanced and depend on cooler waters for mating. Alarmingly, the rising waters are to blame for a 40% decline in spring spawning herring in Norway since 2009.
The MSC expresses concern about the impending collision of rising oceans and insufficient international supervision, which could cause a catastrophic collapse in fish populations and endanger the lives of a great number of people.
Dr. Olav Sigurd Kjesbu of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research highlights how temperature changes can negatively affect pelagic fish supplies, highlighting how these changes might affect the fishes’ distribution, ability to spawn, and mortality rates.
Professor Geraint Tarling of the British Antarctic Survey draws attention to the Atlantification phenomena, which is the gradual replacement of native species by a variety of species migrating northward during this turbulent period.
Head of the Earth surfaces and interior division at the European Space Agency, Dr. Craig Donlon, recognizes the impending temperature spike in the North Atlantic and envisions an ecosystem that adapts, with species moving to waters that are suitable with the temperature, bringing about shifts in biodiversity.
The UK government has revealed plans for extensive monitoring of pelagic trawlers to catalog catches in English waters in an effort to address these coming disasters. The MSC’s regional director for Europe, Erin Priddle, emphasizes how urgent it is that planners adjust and include these dynamic stock shifts into plans for sustainable fisheries management. She also echoes the possible risks of overfishing, exploitation, and stock collapse in the event that comprehensive strategies are not in place.