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Posted Thu Dec 30 2010: from NOAA, via Mongabay:
Growing Atlantic dead zone shrinks habitat for billfish and tuna, may lead to over-harvest
A dead zone off the coast of West Africa is reducing the amount of available habitat for Atlantic tuna and billfish species, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a study published in Fisheries Oceanography. The zone is growing due to rising water temperatures and is expected to cause over-harvest of tuna and billfish as the fish seek higher levels of oxygen in areas with greater fisheries activity.... "The hypoxic zone off West Africa, which covers virtually all the equatorial waters in the Atlantic Ocean, is roughly the size of the continental United States, and it's growing," said Dr. Eric D. Prince, a NOAA Fisheries Service research fishery biologist who led the study. "With the current cycle of climate change and accelerated global warming, we expect the size of this zone to increase, further reducing the available habitat for these fish."... Tuna and billfish - a catch-all category which includes marlin, swordfish, and sailfish species - are already experiencing global declines due to pressure from fisheries. The habitat loss caused by the dead zone is expected to push Atlantic stock down even further as fish escape to near-shore areas with more fishing activity. The increase in catch rates will make it appear that stocks are up when really they're just concentrated in a smaller area. This may lead to over-harvest.
[Read more stories about: ocean warming, overfishing, dead zones]

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That's just Nature's way of helping us out!

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