On September 20 thousands of young climate strikers around the world will take to the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Over the last year the “Fridays for Future” have woken up much of the world with their powerful school strikes for the climate. Now they have called on the rest of us to join them!
We will join the global climate strike on Friday to demand immediate action to address the global climate crisis. Because, protecting the climate means protecting the ocean! The sea level is rising and the water is warming. So, isn’t climate change something good for ocean life? Unfortunately, no!
1. Fish have a very specific “temperature comfort zone”
If the water temperature exceeds this comfort zone, fish move to cooler waters to avoid the heat stress. Scientist have been observing this trend for some years now and predict that more and more fish will leave their “home waters”. Fish will especially move away from low latitude countries, which could result in a loss of 40% of all fish species in tropical countries.
2. Sea level rise and extreme weather events destroy spawning and nursery grounds
Everywhere on our planet underwater forests and gardens in coastal waters are vital places for young fish. Mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs are nurseries and refuge at the same time. Hurricanes and storm tides are destroying these fragile ecosystems more and more frequently and leave nothing behind for the former inhabitants.
3. Fish can not breath anymore
Ocean warming reduces the solubility of oxygen in seawater. As a result, “oxygen minimum zones” have expanded globally over the last decades. In these areas ocean life can not exist in the long term. If the oxygen concentration drops below a specific level, “death zones” are emerging. Here, no life can be found except some bacteria. The largest death zone is currently located in the Baltic Sea.
All in all, climate change makes fish populations more vulnerable to warming, while warming hinders the recovery of overfished populations. Ending overfishing will therefore be a critical part of addressing the threat that climate change poses to the world’s fish stocks.