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Atlantic halibut benefits from warm water

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec19,2023

The halibut of the Atlantic benefits from warm water

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An article published in the journal FACETS establishes a link between the increase exponential increase in halibut landings in the Atlantic over the past decade and warming of ocean temperatures.


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Warming ocean temperatures caused by climate change would provide favorable conditions for Atlantic halibut, according to a new study, even if the fate of their prey remains uncertain.

An article published in the journal FACETS links the exponential increase in landings in Atlantic Canada over the past decade to warming ocean temperatures and predicts that this This trend will likely continue in both low and high warming scenarios over the coming decades.

In these two scenarios, we observe similar trends. Even in the higher emissions scenario where it's warmer, it would appear that halibut would gain more habitat, says co-author Ryan Stanley, a Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist at the Institute. Bedford Oceanographic Institute.

There will be winners and there will be losers. Sounds like good news for halibut!

He and other researchers used 18,600 at-sea observations over 54 years to track the distribution of Canada's most valuable groundfish.

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The most recent statistics show landings of this large flatfish in Nova Scotia were worth $60 million in 2022.

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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.

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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.

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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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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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