Warming and acidifying ocean waters will negatively affect many fish and shellfish stocks in the Northeast in the coming years, a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found.
Released this week by the online journal PLOS-one, the NOAA report sheds light on how climate change is affecting marine species in the region and provides a basis for future research and management.
The Northeast U.S. Fisheries Climate Vulnerability Assessment evaluated 82 marine fish and invertebrate species along the northeast U.S. continental shelf, stretching from Cape Hatteras to the Gulf of Maine, for climate change vulnerability.
Many of the species found at risk live around the Vineyard, including winter flounder, scallops, lobsters, oysters and channeled whelk. As waters warm, those species are likely to suffer from reproduction problems and move to a different habitat, as has already begun to happen with summer flounder and sea bass, the report found. Meanwhile, ocean acidification poses a risk to shellfish by interfering with their ability to form shells. Other species, including squid and butterfish, will benefit from warming waters, the report found.
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