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May 31, 2022

Fish on the Menu?

Fish habitats are in fluctuation. Climate change plays a role on where fish live, the size of fish populations, and the location of future fishing grounds. As marine ecosystems change with warming ocean temperatures, will seafood still be on the dinner menu? Learn more on "The Discovery Files."

Credit: National Science Foundation

Fish on the Menu?

This is The Discovery Files, from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The commercial and recreational fishing industries provide 1.8 million jobs in the U.S. and generate over $255 billion per year.

We are the world's 2nd largest consumer of seafood, consuming 6.3 billion pounds annually, but productive fish species are in decline and could affect what's for dinner.

Supported by NSF, researchers at Rutgers University are studying how warming oceans are impacting marine predator and prey interactions.

While previous research focused on the impact of climate change on individual species, this new study took into account the interaction between species within the food chain.

This impact plays a role on where fish live, how abundant they are, and will affect the location of future fishing grounds where commercial companies trawl to put seafood on the menu.

This cascading food web effect will also impact how the U.S. manages its ocean resources to protect against overfishing.

The study presents a mixed picture of ocean health as the warming oceans will continue to present challenges for the marine ecosystem. Which will ultimately impact American jobs and a major food source.

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