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Many European fish populations are on the move due to warming oceans and increasing numbers, according to new research from an international team of scientists led by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and the University of Aberdeen.
Marine fish are a diverse group of animals that play important roles in marine ecosystems but are also a major food source for marine and terrestrial mammals, most notably humans.
Study - Journal - Ecography - Populations - Northeast
A new study, just published in the journal Ecography, has shown that fish populations in the Northeast Atlantic are moving northwards, and species which were once limited to southern European waters, like hake, have expanded the area they occupy, whilst species found in northern European waters, such as cod, have contracted.
These shifts in distribution are partly due to warming seas and partly due to the recovery of some species with reductions in overfishing. In particular, fish stocks from the south, such as anchovies, horse mackerel and sole, have moved into the North Sea, the Baltic and west of Scotland because these waters are now warmer.
Decade - Stocks - Area - Success - Fisheries
Over the past decade, some fish stocks have expanded the area they occupy with the success of fisheries management under the European Common Fisheries Policy, which has led to the recovery of many fish stocks. In particular, populations of mackerel have more than doubled in the last 15 years, whilst the amount of hake has increased fivefold in the same period.
The team, which consists of 12 researchers from around Europe and the U.S., received funding from the European funded projects ClimeFish and CERES to carry out the study. This was part of a major effort to assess how fish distributions have changed over...
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