New Study links cod collapse to rapid warming of ocean waters

New Study links cod collapse to rapid warming of ocean waters

Cods were considered as the strongest point of New England’s fisheries and important species in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. But its current condition is quite pessimistic, as it is on the verge of collapse. A new report has linked the cod collapse with the warming of oceans.

As per researchers, warming waters making fisheries management plans quite difficult. It is one of the main reasons behind the collapse of the New England’s cod fishery.

Mike Sieracki, program director in the Division of Ocean Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF), said that the report explains as to why the Gulf of Maine's cod fishery has not been able to discover despite the fact that a lot many efforts are being taken towards that direction including reduced fishing.

Sieracki affirmed that between 2004 and 2013, the Gulf of Maine’s water has warmed faster in comparison to 99% of the global ocean. There are many factors that add to rapid warming, including changes in the position of the Gulf Stream and climate oscillations in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Study’s lead researcher Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), said, “Fishers stayed well within their limits for cod, and yet stocks continued to decline. That told us something else was going on--and it turns out that warming was driving the decline”.

In the research, scientists from GMRI, the University of Maine, Stony Brook University, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory were involved. Another thing unveiled was warming water also leads to higher mortality of juvenile fish.

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