Global warming could cut commercial fish catches around Scotland by 20 per cent while they increase by ten per cent around the south of England, according to a new study by over 150 government and university scientists.
Gradually rising temperatures caused by climate pollution could drive porpoises, minke whales and white-beaked dolphins away from Scotland's shores. The sea will also become increasingly acidic, which could harm some marine wildlife, the study says.
The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership has released its report card for 2013. It summarises the latest research from more than 50 leading UK science organisations, including Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The report points out that over the last 30 years landings of cold-water fish like cod, haddock and whiting from the North East Atlantic have halved. Over coming decades, it predicts that this trend will continue.
Northern UK seas like the central and northern North Sea will become “up to 20 per cent less productive, with clear implications for fisheries,” it says. But at the same time southern seas like the English Channel and the Celtic Sea will become up to ten per cent more productive.