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Climate change could shrink fish as they gasp for oxygen

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • October 1, 2012 - 2:55 PM

It’s not just fish populations shrinking, according to a new study. Fish themselves will be much smaller within a few decades.

Global warming linked to greenhouse-gas emissions will cause the body weight of more than 600 types of marine fish to dwindle up to 24% between 2000 and 2050, according to a report in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Additional factors, such as overfishing and pollution, will only make matters worse.

Ultimately, the changes “are expected to have large implications for trophic interactions, ecosystem functions, fisheries and global protein supply,” according to the study.

Aquatic creatures grow depending on the temperature, oxygen and resources available in water, according to researchers. Fish will struggle to breathe and develop as oceans become warmer and less oxygenated.

Fewer, smaller fish could result in a supply crunch, leading to higher prices of seafood down the line.

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