Fishing has been the economic and cultural pillar for many coastal towns along the Northeast coast for generations. But a warmer climate threatens the abundance and distribution of key species like haddock and Atlantic cod. And that will spell trouble for these fishing towns, according to new research.
“Fishermen need to travel farther from port to fill their nets, reflecting shifts in the location of their target species,” quantitative ecologist Lauren A. Rogers, who co-authored the study, explained.
A warmer climate makes species migrate north; the timing of species to arrive into fishing areas is shifting as well. This complicates fishermen’s jobs as they may not see a species during a time when regulations allow them to fish for it.
“Fishermen are on the frontlines of climate change,” Monique Coombs, director of marine programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, told Grist. “Clam harvesters see the shells of the intertidal species softening because of ocean acidification. Changing weather patterns inhibits fishers’ safety because they are no longer able to depend on weather forecasts.”
The study looked at 33 marine species. Overall,... Read more