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North Atlantic fish populations shifting as ocean temperatures warm
Date:11/2/2009

cal fishing pressure, suggests that we are already witnessing the response of fish to a warming scenario," Nye said. "The community structure is changing from cool-water to warm-water fish species. These trends will likely continue".

While consumers will find familiar fish species at their local fish markets for the foreseeable future, fisherman may have to travel farther to catch some species until eventually it will not be economical.

"Consumers in the Northeast, for example, may eventually start seeing less familiar species like Atlantic croaker at local markets and on restaurant menus as southern and Mid-Atlantic species move northward into New England waters," Nye said. "The fish appear to be adapting to a changing environment, and people will as well over the next few decades."

The authors say the study has implications beyond the Northeast U.S. "It is another example of the need for an ecosystem-based management approach to our fisheries," said co-author Jason Link, a fisheries biologist at NEFSC's Woods Hole laboratory. "Many factors, temperature among them, influence the status of a fish stock, and we need to be aware of all of those factors and consider them in management decisions. Looking at 'the big picture' helps put each piece of the puzzle in perspective."


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Contact: Shelley Dawicki
Shelley.Dawicki@noaa.gov
508-495-2378
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Source:Eurekalert

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