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Fernandez, Joanna Lynne M.

April 18, 2015

Bio 164 (Headline of the Week Topic 2)

Out of plaice: popular UK fish at risk from rising temperatures


This time, I went to the online site of The Guardian a popular British daily newspaper to check
some news related to the course. Under the environment tab, there is a section named wildlife where I
was able to see this article. Honestly, the witty headline of the news article was a major factor why I chose
this one. The fact that I am taking Bio 119 (Fish Biology) this semester also factored in as I finalized my
decision to make a paper on said article.
The article is basically about the issue concerning the popular fishes of Britain plaice, haddock
and lemon sole. Scientists from said country had warned about the rising temperatures of the North Sea
where majority of the fish stocks are harvested. Wifishes. th this rise in water temperature is also a rise in
the migration of said fishes to cooler water bodies. In the past 30 years, the North Sea has warmed by 1.3
C. Flatfishes such as lemon soles have already been driven further north where water is cooler. The
problem is, seas in the north are deeper and much rockier making them unsuitable habitat for flatfishes
who are bottom feeders. This results to a decline in the harvest of said fishes. Studies on haddock and
other fish species have also predicted a general trend of decline which led a team of scientists from
Exeter University to the belief that the fishing industry for said species will likely collapse especially that
North Sea temperatures are set to increase another 1.8 C in the next half century.
The style of writing was good such that a systematic flow was followed. The main problem was
introduced in the first part followed by the several studies conducted by groups such as Exeter University
and UKs Marine Conservation Society. At the last part, the impacts of the changes in the temperature
was highlighted thereby allowing readers to think about the issue critically. Another good thing about the
article is that it presented data such as the actual increase in temperature for the past 30 years as well as
the predicted increase in North Sea temperature in the next half century.
Lets face it: unlike the super cute mammals, fishes dont usually take the spotlight when it comes
to conservation efforts. In fact, I remember a lecture from Sir JA about how reports on fish populations (or
lack thereof) have never reached national television when typhoon Yolanda hit the southern Philippines.
The focus was always on land animals and hinestly, I find this bias really strange mostly because of all
the benefits we get from fishes. For example and as stated in the news article, fisheries in UK contribute
billions in the UK economy. It will be a great loss if we dont take care of these fisheries especially that
climate change is now affecting fish behavior. Las Angus Garrett from Seafish said, temperature change
is clearly influencing fisheries and ought to be considered in fisheries management. So with these
changes in fish behavior, it is a must that we take extra caution in harvesting fishes. Government
agencies as well as private companies must always follow scientific advice and set total allowable
catches in order to not completely deplete seas of fishes. We should always remember taht impacts of
climate change do not only affect us humans but also these fishes of the seas and oceans. Therefore it is
necessary that we adjust in order to enjoy said benefits we get from fishes for a much longer time.
( Article from http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/13/plaice-fish-risk-depletion-rising-temperatures )