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Warm water may be hurting cod food supply

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Glasgow, Scotland (UPI) Dec 19, 2010
A plankton decline caused by warmer water in the North Atlantic may be hurting cod stocks as much as overfishing, Scottish researchers say.

Nick Kamenos, a research fellow at the University of Glasgow, and members of his team examined algae deposits along the west coast of Scotland to determine historic temperatures in shallow coastal waters going back to the 14th century, The Scotsman reports. They say the water has been getting consistently warmer since the end of the Little Ice Age, a North Atlantic cold spell that lasted from 1400 to 1700.

Calanus finmarchicus, a zooplankton that is an important source of food for cod and other fish species, has been dropping in numbers as a result. Kamenos predicted a steep drop by 2040 that could play havoc with the ocean food chain.

The average summertime water temperature has increased 2.7 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), about twice the average increase of the winter temperature.

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EU reduces fishing quotas to save cod
Brussels (UPI) Dec 15, 2010
The European Union Wednesday decided on deep cuts to fishing quotas to protect overfished species such as cod. After a 17-hour negotiation marathon, EU ministers meeting in Brussels agreed to slash the allowable catch of cod by nearly a fifth from 40,219 tons in 2010 to 32,912 tons next year. Cod cuts differed regionally, ranging from 50 percent in the waters between Denmark, Swe ... read more

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