A study by University of British Columbia researchers have found that the world’s fish have been steadily moving to cooler waters. What is worrying is that these are no temporary vacations, but permanent adjustments.

According to the Washington Post, scientists used data collected from 968 fish species and invertebrates over a span of three decades, confirming that the change is happening on a global scale.

“One way for marine animals to respond to ocean warming is by moving to cooler regions,” said William Cheung, the study’s lead author. “As a result, places like New England on the northeast coast of the U.S. saw new species typically found in warmer waters, closer to the tropics. Meanwhile in the tropics, climate change meant fewer marine species and reduced catches, with serious implications for food security.”

The implications of these migrations could spell drastic changes for commercial fisherman and saltwater anglers. By using fish as a living thermometer, scientists have discovered that marine animals are moving towards waters that match their preferred temperatures. With the 52 marine ecosystems studied by researchers all increasing in temperature, fish may be heading closer and closer to cooler polar waters. Experts are especially concerned over marine species in tropical environments. Whereas in colder climates new fish species will come in to replace departing ones, no new species are coming to tropical waters. This could affect local fishermen which require the fish for sustenance rather than for trade.

Even anglers in colder parts of the world may soon be tackling species that they are unfamiliar with. In the researchers’ native fishing grounds of British Columbia, anglers have found that sockeye salmon have been declining while tuna and mackerel can be found in great numbers.

Scientists expect fish to eventually adapt and thrive in the warmer waters.

“Nature is very adaptable,” said professor of marine biology Boris Worm. “It always ­changes to something else. It never ­changes to nothing.”

Image from Aleph1 on the Wikimedia Commons

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2 thoughts on “Study Finds Fish Moving to Colder Waters

  1. I’m sorry, but I call BS on this study. It’s false. Fakery. Phony. FRAUD.

    It may be true that fish POPULATIONS are down, because of overfishing. I accept that.

    But there is utterly no way to empirically prove that they’re moving to deeper waters. And, the wonderous thing about water is, the deeper you go, the colder it gets. UNIVERSALLY.

    So, if fish are warm, all they have to do is drop down 3ft. and it’s cooler. Simple. Does it indicate a MASS MIGRATION? No, of course not.

    This is a study paid for by a government grant and it exists only to ensure that it exists. Stupid. BS>

  2. The heading says it all. These researchers are out to lunch. The fish are not moving to colder waters. They are moving with the water temperatures. They have water temperatures they prefer so they migrate to maintain those temperatures. The Gulf Stream used to flow to the coast of New England. Those warm waters are gone.
    What if this is just an evolutionary change ? The researchers are surely supporters of evolution.

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