Posted in Science

Science Links Ocean Warming to Gulf of Maine Cod Fishery Collapse

The Gulf of Maine has been hit with a double whammy – declining Atlantic cod stocks and ocean warming – and a new study published Thursday in Science definitively links the two. The paper is already receiving headlines and has major implications for how we manage our fisheries. … More Info »

Souring Seas: What Ocean Acidification Might Mean for New England

The Gulf of Maine could be the “canary in the coal mine” for acidifying oceans, according to one presenter at an event designed to get people in New England thinking about how souring seas might affect them. … More Info »

Little Fish Reveal the Big Picture on Cod

Why did fishermen see a bounty while scientists in fact called it a bust? Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center say a change in the forage fish, or small prey species, the cod were eating offers an explanation. … More Info »

Tearing the “Invisible Fabric” of Nature

A major recent study documents incidents of overfishing that pushed ecosystems beyond tipping points from which they could not rebound, “flipping” them into new states. The meta-study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences includes examples from around the world—from the Namibian coast and Nile Delta to right here in New England’s waters. In each, over-exploitation of resources triggered a domino effect in the food web, “fundamentally transforming ecosystems to those that are often less productive for fisheries, more prone to cycles of booms and busts, and thus less manageable.” … More Info »

Doom and Bloom?

Scientists say the amount of zooplankton—the tiny animals near the base of the ocean food web—hit an all-time low this spring in waters off the U.S. Northeast. The latest ecosystem advisory from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center says the biomass of zooplankton this spring on the Northeast Shelf was the lowest on record since the agency began measurements. … More Info »

Overfishing Threatens Genetic Diversity of Winter Flounder

New research by scientists in six bays of Long Island, New York, shows that overfishing of winter flounder living in these bays has led to severe inbreeding, a factor that is not typically considered in marine fisheries management. … More Info »

Ocean Acidification in the Northeast: Cod Can’t Catch a Break!

Ocean acidification, known to scientists as “the other CO₂ problem”, may cause changes to our marine fauna—including severely depleted cod—that we have only begun to wrap our heads around. Good science and planning will be necessary to help coastal ecosystems and economies adapt to this worrying trend. … More Info »

On Climate, Cod, Copepods, and Conjunctions

The warming of New England’s waters due to climate change is affecting the availability of food for larval cod, according to a study by scientists at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Fortunately, two upcoming events promise to expand the conversation about climate change and fishing. Unfortunately, some media coverage of this important science does a great disservice by misrepresenting the results. … More Info »

Nature Study Shows Fish Feeling Heat from Global Warming

Map of East Coast

A study featured in the current issue of the journal Nature reveals that ocean warming has already affected fisheries around the world over the past four decades as fish populations shift in response to changing sea temperatures. The study is a stark reminder that climate change is a serious challenge in the here and now, not off in the distant future. It’s time for fisheries managers to start acting on that. … More Info »

The Fish are Talking, but Can We Listen?

The scientists who study cod populations have tried a lot of different ways to figure out where cod aggregate and to observe their behavior, like trawl surveys, sonar, and even underwater video cameras. But recently, a team of federal and state fisheries scientists have developed a new way to observe groups of cod. Rather than watching them, they’re listening to them—and they’re hearing some pretty interesting stories that could help us protect this depleted species. … More Info »