A fishmonger tosses a large halibut onto a table at the Fulton Fish Market, the second largest seafood market in the world, in New York.
Between 2004 and 2018, warmer bottom temperatures expanded the available thermal habitat suitable for young halibut, which measure less than 80 centimeters in length.
The study found that the growing season lengthened and young halibut matured earlier, survived better and took up more space in the region.
There was a fairly close relationship between the landings we observed, the amount of habitat for young halibut and the amount of young we caught in our surveys, says the scientist.
Thanks to this relationship, we are able to extrapolate how continued warming in the region may influence this trend.
The halibut are taken out of the boat to be weighed.
Models predict higher halibut populations across the Atlantic region.
The probability of occurrence of Atlantic halibut is expected to increase in northern regions and remain relatively unchanged in southern regions under all future climate scenarios, the paper says.
The full impact of climate change is, however, not known on the species on which halibut feed or on its predators.
The ability to make such projections reflects the importance of decades-long investigations by American and Canadian scientists, according to Ryan Stanley.
The CCGS Jacques Cartier sits at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography dock, Darmouth in 2021.
From this solid foundation, we can make predictions for the future, he explains. Term surveys are extremely valuable sources of data that we can use to draw very informed conclusions about the influence of climate change on species like Atlantic halibut.
In recent years, frequent vessel failures, on both old and new Coast Guard vessels, have repeatedly hampered capacity scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to carry out at-sea surveys in Atlantic Canada.
With information from Paul WithersfromCBC
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