Global warming gets Australian fish moving

Sydney, Aug 22 (Calcutta Tube) Climate change is good for some species of sea fish but bad for others, researchers in Australia said Friday.

Rising water temperature on the east coast has seen up to a third of inshore species moving south to colonize areas where the seas are less chilly.

‘The problem is that in southern Tasmania, shallow cold-water species have nowhere to escape warmer conditions in the sea,’ Peter Last, head of the Australian National Fish Collection, said.

While some species are thriving as they move into new areas, greater competition means some are up against it because of global warming.

Last said the Maugean Skate was one of the many species swimming south. Even sea urchins were on the move.

‘For example, sea urchins crossing Bass Strait into Tasmanian waters have decimated some kelp beds, which is bad news for some species, but have provided new habitat opportunities for others,’ he said.

‘As the habitats are starting to change, we can expect to see sort of major concerns for these species,’ Last told national broadcaster ABC.

The study, published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, is based on scientific accounts, angling competition records and commercial catch records dating back to the 1800s.

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