Commercial fish species in Europe seem to be adapting to climate change well and are growing faster, according to Michaela Aschan, Professor in Fisheries Biology and Management, UiT Arctic University of Norway, and ClimeFish project coordinator.
Aschan said that now, international regulations protecting fish stocks should be updated to reflect the new climate reality.
“We're experiencing a rather harsh warming, but still our species till now have been rather adaptable. And we see that, especially in the North Sea and in the Barents Sea and Northeast Atlantic. These species actually are happy to identify new habitat, new areas where they can live.”
“So we have two factors. There is more space, more areas to find food, and thereby some of these stocks increase - not only because of the extended habitat but also due to the fact that they grow faster, each individual grows faster than before,” Aschan added.
“This is good”, Aschan said, “But we have to be really really careful with our management and our regulations. The most important thing is that we agree between countries - who is going to fish these stocks that move from one zone to another. We have to agree because now we are overfishing stocks due to the fact that we didn't put proper agreements in place.”
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