Europe must sea food in a new way thanks to warming waters
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the world's fastest growing food sectors, providing about half of all the fish we eat. As it stands, climate change is altering our ocean’s environment, causing the seawater to become warmer and impacting the marine ecosystems profoundly. How will these changes affect marine species, consumers and industries that rely on them?
Europe is the fourth largest producer of fish in the world, according to Eurostat, with about 6.4 million tonnes of fish and shellfish caught or harvested by the European fisheries and aquaculture industry in 2015. Approximately 80% of European aquatic food production comes from wild fisheries, while around 20% comes from aquaculture, or fish farms.
But at the same time, climate change is altering the productivity of this sector and threatening biodiversity and habitats. The temperature of Europe’s seas due to climate change is increasing faster than in global oceans, according to the European Environment Agency, and Mediterranean species like bluefin tuna and anchovy, attracted by warm waters, are moving northwards to be observed in some cases, as far north as the North Sea.
‘We have been witnessing the effects of climate change on fish and shellfish around the world for some time now and these effects are predicted to become larger in the future. It is critical to understand how Europe’s aquaculture industry and EU policy will need to adapt to foster Blue Growth in light of climate change,’ said Professor Myron Peck from Universität Hamburg in Germany, referring to the EU‘s long term economic strategy for a sustainable marine sector.
Full article and more information about aquaculture projects at horizon-magazine.eu