There is a species of zooplankton that is one of the preferred foods of larval cod simply that simply can’t take the heat, according to a recent report. Fewer Cod could survive to adulthood because they are being caught by local fishermen.
The plankton that young cod usually eat during March, April and May, a species of copepod that is the size of a grain of rice, prefer cold water and so they have become much less frequent as the North Sea has warmed. These copepods have moved north, and the plankton replacing them come later in the year, which is no good for the young cod.
Over the past 40 years, the North Sea’s temperature has increased by one-degree centigrade, which has proved enough to prompt cod to seek alternative habitats. Fishes being cold-blooded species prefer a water temperature between 41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit for growth and activity levels. But due to the rising temperature of the water, most of the fish species of the Arctic waters are seeking a new home in cooler waters.
Experts have said that after all cod have left the North Sea they could find a new home in the Barents Sea. If the increase in global temperatures continues, cod will inevitably disappear as a commercial species in the North Sea whatever the reduction in fishing.
But that is not the end of fish and chips in Britain, as most of the fish captured nowadays come from the Barents Sea itself. Though the study that predicted that the fishes number is declining in the North Sea, it does not mean that the fish are becoming extinct. Though the fishes number had declined in the past and haven’t boomed back even after stringent fishing regulations, the fish are far from being extinct.
The report published indeed brings bad news as it gives an idea how the arctic ecosystem is affected by global warming. The fishes absence in these parts leads to an increase in crabs and shrimps and have misbalanced the whole ecosystem.