Thursday, October 4, 2012

Climate Change To Shrink Fish By 2050

OSLO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Fish are likely to get smaller on average by 2050 because global warming will cut the amount of oxygen in the oceans in a shift that may also mean dwindling catches, according to a study on Sunday.

Average maximum body weights for 600 types of marine fish, such as cod, plaice, halibut and flounder, would contract by 14-24 percent by 2050 from 2000 under a scenario of a quick rise in greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

"The reductions in body size will affect whole ecosystems," lead author William Cheung of the University of British Columbia in Canada, told Reuters of the findings in the journal Nature Climate Change."

His team of scientists said a trend towards smaller sizes was "expected to have large implications" for ocean food webs and for human "fisheries and global protein supply.

"The consequences of failing to curtail greenhouse gas emissions on marine ecosystems are likely to be larger than previously indicated," the U.S. and Canada-based scientists wrote."

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