A new study has been performed concerning the fact that climate change is warming up the ocean and killing cod population, mostly off the New England coast.
- The waters in the New England region are undergoing changes
- The cod stock has depleted vastly
The study in question is showing that the New England waters are changing a lot more rapidly than the rest of the oceans. First there was an immense quantity of snow in Boston last year, which researchers have linked to the warming seas, then there was the big sea level rise in 2009. All these are facts that have led scientists to notice that those waters in particular are changing and rapidly.
The lead author of the study is Andrew Pershing, of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. He and his team have studied those waters for a period of ten years, from 2004 to 2013. And during that time, the part of the ocean extending from Cape Cod in the northeast to Nova Scotia in the south has warmed up by a staggering 0.23 degrees Celsius per year, faster than any other ocean in the world.
As a result of this, the cod stock in those waters is now down to just four percent of what it really should be. Around this time last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration introduced very harsh restrictions regarding cod fishing in that area. This, in turn, had harsh consequences on many communities living over there, dependent on fishing, such as Gloucester Massachusetts.
But the disaster cannot be attributed to the warming waters alone. It also has to be appointed, the study shows, to people not noticing it, or not taking it into account. This means that the cod was overfished, simply because the warming of the ocean was not taken into consideration when the quota was produced.
But there’s also some good news in all of this, because, as we all know, every cloud has a silver lining and, this time it comes in the shape of yummy lobster. The warming of the New England waters has not had the same effect on all species that have their habitat there.
For example, lobsters seem to be thriving in the warm waters. They are reported to be “booming”, especially off the coast of Maine, for two reasons. Because the cod population has dropped and cod eat lobsters and because the warm waters help them grow faster. So, Maine, here we come!