Warming waters are threatening the operations of North Pacific fisheries, in turn, causing chaos in the ecosystem.
Scientists are eagerly watching the ocean temperature patterns this year. Cold water fisheries in the North Pacific are at risk, and the loss of fish like the Pacific salmon, a species upon which they are dependent, is a serious possibility.
Colder water fish species, such as salmon, do not do well in warmer temperature waters. This may affect the salmon’s migration patterns, and ultimately disrupt fisheries that both man and beast depend on.
The fallout from a change in migration would be hard felt; if even one species is affected, the entire natural food chain can be harmed. Not enough larger predator fish leads to too many bait fish, which can lead to a decrease in bait fish food supplies, like aquatic plants or even smaller marine organisms.
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Other fish prefer warmer waters; species such as tuna may move in and take over the habitat. The situation has been referred to as “natural history in progress,” and biologists will have to wait and see what will happen to the fisheries in the coming years.