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Major threats foreseen due to Europe's changing marine environments

ER collection.

Another warns of possible extinction of cod stocks in the Baltic Sea and calls for "a strategy ... to ensure the persistence of Baltic cod into the twenty-second century."

In the Mediterranean Sea, the catch of Aristeus antennatus (, a valuable shrimp, may experience "a true collapse" as changes in sea temperatures dramatically reduce, or even stop, the transfer of nutrients to deep waters.

Ominously, the biggest reductions in fish populations are forecast for low-latitude regions, many of which are already impoverished and face the greatest loss of agricultural production due to increased drought and storms. Researchers say the northern migration of some fish species poses a serious food security threat for poorer tropical countries where fish often constitute the largest source of protein.

The global pattern will apply to Europe, with the southern fisheries generally losing productivity while those in the north such as Greenland, Iceland and Norway are expected to gain.

With respect to the northward shift of fish species, the CLAMER synthesis notes one of the largest ever observed: the dramatic spread of the snake pipefish (Entelurus aequoreus - Prior to 2003, the fish was confined to the south and west of the British Isles. It now extends as far north as the Barents Sea and Spitzbergen, about 3,000 km to the north.

European attitudes toward climate change and the marine environment

The online survey of 10,000 residents of 10 European countries -- 1,000 from each of Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway and Estonia -- reveals widespread concern about climate change, led by worries about sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Conducted in January by Brussels-based TNS Opinion, the survey, available to the pub

Contact: Terry Collins
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

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