Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Warming ocean temperatures will prove a boon to some commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, while depressing others, according to a new study published this week in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
Using what scientists have learned about the effects of warming seas on fish stocks over the last several decades, researchers in Britain developed computer models to project the size and availability of important Atlantic fish species as ocean temperatures rise.
The models simulated the abundance and distribution of Atlantic cod, Dover sole, monkfish and lemon sole, under a range of climate scenarios, through the year 2090.
Simulations showed the number of several warm-adapted species, such as red mullet, Dover sole, John Dory and lemon sole, are likely to rise in the coming decades.
Conversely, warming seas are expected to shrink the stocks of cold-adapted species like Atlantic cod, monkfish and megrim.
"Our results show that climate change will continue to affect fish stocks within this sea region into the future, presenting both potential risks but some opportunities that fishers will likely have to adapt to," lead study author Katherine Maltby said in a news release.
"Consumers can help fishers take advantage of these fishing opportunities by seeking out other fish species to eat and enjoy," said Maltby, who the research while working at the Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.
Authors of the new study suggest fisheries managers will need to adapt rules and regulations as seas warm, reducing catch limits for negatively affected species, while loosening restrictions for growing fish stocks.
"We know from working with fishers that warmer water species are appearing in catches more," said co-author Louise Rutterford, researcher at the University of Exeter. "Bringing together their 'on-the-ground' experiences with studies like ours will help inform future management decisions that enable sustainable exploitation while supporting fishers' adaptation."