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Bleak forecast on fishery stocks

The world's fish stocks will soon suffer major upheaval due to climate change, scientists have warned.

Changing ocean temperatures and currents will force thousands of species to migrate polewards, including cod, herring, plaice and prawns.

By 2050, US fishermen may see a 50% reduction in Atlantic cod populations.

The predictions of "huge changes", published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, were presented at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago.

Marine biologists used computer models to forecast the future of 1,066 commercially important species from across the globe.

"The impact of climate change on marine biodiversity and fisheries is going to be huge," said lead author Dr William Cheung, of the University of East Anglia in the UK.

"We must act now to adapt our fisheries management and conservation policies to minimise harm to marine life and to our society.

"We can use our knowledge to improve the design of marine protected areas which are adaptable to changes in distribution of the species," he told the conference.

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