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Global warming: Threat to Fishes

Amita Sarkar and Bhavna Upadhyay

Department of Zoology, Agra college, Agra (U.P.)India 282002


Global warming is not only changing the temperature and the oxygen content of the oceans, but can also significantly affect aquatic productivity and fisheries because of the reduction in size of marine fish species.

Global warming, whose impacts have been demonstrated since the 1980s and 1990s, influences the functioning of the world’s ecosystems as well as the structure and the diversity of animal and plant communities. The GIEC’s (International group of experts on global warming) latest report states that the global temperature should increase by 1.4–5.8°C between now and the year 2100. This phenomenon is an added pressure on the environment that will become increasingly intense over time and should be taken into account in planning sustainable resource and ecosystem management. However, its impact and the possible influence of the effects of other non-climate factors still remain difficult to determine.

In large rivers, fish can also be subjected to non-climatic factors such as water development programmes, dams or nuclear power stations, which may influence the vast changes identified within aquatic communities. According to the data collected at this scale, the impact from these sources appears to be quite low on the trends observed. On the other hand, since dams act as natural barriers, they hinder the Southern species in their migration towards the North. In a context of increasing climate warming, the lack of a fish flow from the South, as has been observed on these sites, could be harmful to the current process of species renewal and subsequently intensify the threat weighing on the biodiversity of large rivers. Rising temperatures directly increase the metabolic rate of the fish's body function. This leads to an increase in oxygen demand for normal body activities. So the fish will run out of oxygen for growth at a smaller body size.

In addition, global warming is expected to lead to an increase in marine diseases, harmful algal blooms, more-extreme rainfall patterns and stronger hurricanes, all of which would have a significant impact on the state’s prime fisheries.Scientists agree that a significant increase in the rate of sea-level rise due to melting glaciers and ice caps and the thermal expansion of the oceans is one of the most direct consequences of global warming.

.Of course, global warming isn't the only threat to salmon and trout. Logging, development, pollution, dams and water diversions have all degraded, if not destroyed, huge swaths of their habitat -- while inspiring high-stakes efforts to save various species from extinction. It's now clear that such efforts -- if they're to succeed in the future -- must address the problem of global warming as well. To do this, the United States must reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. The good news is that many of the tools needed to clean up motor vehicles and power plants already exist. What's needed is the political will to put this technology to use

The fisheries sector is rarely a strategic sector for national economic development., it is nonetheless an important economic activity, and very often a strategic one, in many coastal regions of the world. Indeed, in many countries, fish export is a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings, often ranking far higher than other agricultural commodities. The major trade flow -- from south to north -- underlines the significance of this sector for the trade balance of many developing countries. The more considerable and substantial contribution of fisheries worldwide is the supply of highly nutritious animal protein for human consumption and the employment and income generation in often-remote coastal areas. While globally some seventeen percent of the animal protein supply is derived from fisheries, in many developing countries -- especially in the Asian region that is home to nearly two-thirds of the world's population -- this share is above fifty percent. Finally, the growing importance of recreational fishing is also notable, especially as its contribution to economic benefits is often difficult to assess and still insufficiently recognized.

The fisheries sector usually makes a valuable contribution to economic development of coastal areas. The relative dispersion of coastal small-scale fisheries adds to maintaining economically viable rural communities and balancing the trend towards growing coastal urbanization. In history, fisheries have often been the basis for human settlements and coastal development in both the rural and urban environments. In addition to its direct contribution, the fisheries sector is often responsible for significant indirect multiplier effects on economic development.
The list of reasons behind global warming is virtually endless. Man has not only used nature’s bounties for his own benefits but has treaded into the danger zone by exploiting them, thereby harming the physical environment and bringing about a vast climatic change. As global citizens, it should be our first priority to minimize the effects of environmental pollutants and there by save our planet from the effects of global warming.

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