Fish and chips could disappear by 2050 due to global warming, study warns

Fish and chips are an iconic part of British cuisine - but this beloved dinner is at risk of disappearing from our menus.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 11:47 am
The future of haddock and cod is at risk (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new study has outlined how cod and haddock are at risk of being wiped out due to global warming.

What does the study say?

The study was conducted by John Spicer (Professor of Marine Zoology at the University of Plymouth) and Dr Simon Morley - an Ecophysiologist with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

The future of haddock and cod is at risk (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The study said, “Oxygen concentrations in both the open ocean and coastal waters have declined by two to five per cent since at least the middle of the 20th century.”

The study explains that this change on oxygen concentration in the water is “one of the most important changes occurring in an ocean” and is increasingly a consequence of human activity.

These rising oxygen levels, combined with the rising temperature of the ocean, have been shown to have a harsher effect on the larger of the marine invertebrates and fish.

Species, including cod and haddock, face the possibility of getting wiped out.

Goodbye fish and chips?

Professor Spicer said, “Unless they adapt, many larger marine invertebrates will either shrink in size or face extinction, which would have a profoundly negative impact on the ecosystems of why they are a part.

“This is obviously a major cause for concern.”

The research showed that some animals had developed ways to cope with reduced oxygen, but Professor Spicer said it would be “foolhardy to pin our hopes on such ‘evolutionary rescue’”.

“Many large species will almost certainly be the first casualties of our warming, oxygen-poor ocean,” he added.

This change is also the reason that UK beaches are set to experience an increase in jellyfish.

Climate change

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a further rise of between 1.4C and 5.8C by the end of the century.

“Climate change could therefore well be the knock-out punch for many species which are already under stress from overfishing and habitat loss.”