Dramatic ecosystem shift in Arctic threatens fishing

By Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service / The Vancouver Sun

Friday, March 10, 2006

An international research team that hitches a ride north through the Bering Sea every summer with the Canadian Coast Guard says a "major ecosystem shift'' has occurred in the frigid waters that act as gateway to the Arctic.

Gray whales, walruses and diving seabirds are being replaced by fish that are moving north as ice cover shrinks and waters warm, say the scientists who detail their findings in the journal Science today.

The change is so dramatic the researchers say it threatens both commercial fishing and the livelihood of people such as the Yupik hunters of St. Lawrence Island, near the entrance of Bering Strait, who are watching the ice thin and the seals and walrus disperse.

"It's much more dangerous for them to go out and hunt, it is not the same stable platform they are used to,'' says co-author Fiona McLaughlin of the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) in Victoria.

McLaughlin and her colleagues have been monitoring everything from water temperature and salinity to the behaviour of gray whales, walruses and diving ducks such as spectacled eiders for almost two decades. What emerges from the mass of data is clear evidence, they say, of an ecosystem shift in the shallow and productive waters of the northern Bering Sea.

Creatures that live on the bottom and feed on the bottom, such as whales and sea birds, are giving way to fish that feed within the water column, the scientists say. They believe the change has been triggered by the shrinking of a huge pool of cold water in the Bering Sea where such fish as salmon and pollock can not survive.

"This is a big change,'' says Eddy Carmack, IOS oceanographer and co-author, who likens it to switching from tundra to a boreal forest. As the pool of icy 1 C water shrinks, the fish are not only moving into the northern Bering Sea but they are slipping into the Arctic, the researchers report. Pink salmon are now showing up in rivers that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

The scientists say warm-blooded mammals such as walruses and seals appear to be seeking out colder waters elsewhere. There is also evidence mother walruses are abandoning their pups as the ice thins.

The researchers say the change appears to be tied to climate change and global warming. But they stress the need for more monitoring to understand what is happening and to manage resources.

"Relying on records of past fisheries catches and atmospheric pressure patterns is simply not enough," says Carmack. "You have to go into the field and look."

The scientists travel north through the Bering Sea on the Canadian icebreaker, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which heads for the Arctic each summer. Twelve to 14 researchers from the U.S., Japan and Canada typically go along as part of what Carmack calls the "entrepreneurial'' project.

Asked if they are worried about the trends they are seeing McLaughlin says, "it certainly makes you stop and think."

Carmack says he is not a worrier. But he says there is a clear need to better understand what is happening. "I think it would be irresponsible to not observe and report on the ecosystems that are being impacted," says Carmack. "Irresponsible."

//www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=deb7bfa5-25ff-4926-8c32-c859a55a8283&k=54717


Informant: NHNE

World-News

Independent Media Source

User Status

Du bist nicht angemeldet.

Suche

 

Aktuelle Beiträge

Trump Admits He Fired...
https://truthout.org/artic les/trump-admits-he-fired- comey-to-benefit-himself/? eType=EmailBlastContent&eI d=563da4aa-8942-4f72-929e- 667f24904a70
rudkla - 7. Dez, 21:52
Jacob Chansley, Man Known...
https://truthout.org/artic les/jacob-chansley-man-kno wn-as-qanon-shaman-sentenc ed-for-role-in-capitol-att ack/?eType=EmailBlastConte nt&eId=e287e156-fd8a-4fd3- 9374-71f1bc4fd9d1
rudkla - 18. Nov, 05:21
Steve Bannon and the...
https://www.commondreams.o rg/views/2021/11/17/steve- bannon-and-deadly-implicat ions-deconstructing-admini strative-state?utm_term=AO &utm_campaign=Daily%20News letter&utm_content=email&u tm_source=Daily%20Newslett er&utm_medium=Email
rudkla - 18. Nov, 05:19
As Damning New Memo Shakes...
https://truthout.org/artic les/merrick-garland-and-th e-january-6-house-committe e-are-suddenly-very-busy/? eType=EmailBlastContent&eI d=62bb44f7-621a-4a36-8654- a8647a25ac71
rudkla - 16. Nov, 05:06
Bannon Indicted for Contempt...
https://truthout.org/artic les/bannon-indicted-for-co ntempt-of-congress-for-ign oring-january-6-subpoena/? eType=EmailBlastContent&eI d=26cefe4c-9d72-48cb-a444- d16d8f5f866c
rudkla - 14. Nov, 05:40

Archiv

März 2006
Mo
Di
Mi
Do
Fr
Sa
So
 
 
 
 
 

Status

Online seit 6045 Tagen
Zuletzt aktualisiert: 7. Dez, 21:52

Credits


Afghanistan
Animal Protection - Tierschutz
AUFBRUCH für Bürgerrechte, Freiheit und Gesundheit
Big Brother - NWO
Brasilien-Brasil
Britain
Canada
Care2 Connect
Chemtrails
Civil Rights - Buergerrechte - Politik
Cuts in Social Welfare - Sozialabbau
Cybermobbing
Datenschutzerklärung
Death Penalty - Todesstrafe
Depleted Uranium Poisoning (D.U.)
Disclaimer - Haftungsausschluss
... weitere
Profil
Abmelden
Weblog abonnieren