Fish at risk when seas too warm

Fish grow more slowly when the sea gets too warm, new research has found.

The study examined how a south-east Australian and New Zealand species called the banded morwong reacted over 60 years of ocean warming. It shows for the first time that while cold-blooded animals may initially grow faster in warmer seas, physiological damage sets in when temperatures rise beyond a certain point.

“As temperatures get too high, we begin to see increased signs of stress, possibly eventually leading to death,” said CSIRO marine ecologist Dr Ron Thresher, a co-author of the study with colleagues from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

The study used CSIRO data collected since 1944 at Maria Island, off the east coast of Tasmania. According to the data, surface water temperatures in the Tasman Sea have risen by almost 2°C over the past 60 years.

Read more at CSIRO