Climate threat to tuna: how climate change affects its future

By Tychyna TetianaDec 6, 2023 18:44 PMNews
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Climate threat to tuna: how climate change affects its future
Fish. Source: Freepic

Despite the recent return of bluefin tuna to the waters of Northern Europe, this species may soon disappear again. According to scientists, this recovery may be fleeting due to the approaching climate change.

According to the research, the Mediterranean Sea is expected to reach temperatures that could displace juvenile bluefin tuna within the next 50 years. According to scientists, water temperatures exceeding 28 degrees Celsius will have a negative impact on the bluefin tuna population, writes Еarth.

According to the study, tuna farming is expected to move to cooler regions such as the Bay of Biscay. This migration poses a new problem, as juvenile tuna could end up in existing sardine and anchovy fisheries, which would require a change in fisheries management practices.

It is emphasized that bluefin tuna are one of the largest and most powerful fish in the sea. They are able to reach impressive speeds when jumping out of the water. This fish is not only ecologically important, but also economically valuable, with its meat being a valuable component of sushi and sashimi.

Despite the fact that the fish usually spawns on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the East Atlantic bluefin spends its first year in the Mediterranean Sea. Once they reach maturity, they head to the Atlantic.

Thus, the return of bluefin tuna to the waters of Northern Europe is evidence of successful conservation efforts. However, the looming threat of climate change, in particular the rise in temperature in their Mediterranean nursery grounds, poses new challenges.

The article notes that this fish has unique physiological traits. Unlike most fish, they can regulate their body temperature, which allows them to thrive in different water temperatures. Their streamlined bodies and powerful tails make them very efficient swimmers.

In addition, these fish are known for their long-distance migrations, crossing oceans to feed and spawn. West Atlantic blues migrate between North American waters and the Gulf of Mexico, while East Atlantic populations travel between European waters and spawning grounds in the Mediterranean.

It is also added that bluefin tuna spawn in warm waters, typically in the Mediterranean for the Eastern Atlantic population. Spawning occurs annually, with females releasing millions of eggs, providing a higher chance of survival for their offspring.

At the same time, bluefin tuna face serious threats from overfishing. Their high market value, especially for sushi and sashimi, has led to a sharp decline in their population. Climate change and pollution also pose a serious threat to bluefin tuna. Changes in ocean temperature affect their spawning and migration areas, and pollution affects their health and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Experts summarize that bluefin tuna is not only a seafood delicacy, it is an integral part of the marine ecosystem. Understanding their biology, behavior and the challenges they face is crucial for their conservation.

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