In Mexico, the fishing industry provides jobs for more than 2 million people. But as ocean waters warm, that industry could suffer.
“So this is a worrying trend,” says Laura Rodriguez of the Environmental Defense Fund’s oceans program in Latin America.
She says some fish species will seek cooler waters farther north or deeper in the ocean where they’re harder to catch. And many species are stressed by rising CO2 levels, which make oceans more acidic.
Rodriguez was part of a team that analyzed how warming will affect 25 species that dominate Mexican fisheries.
“And what our model found is that 21 of those species will be negatively impacted by climate change in the future,” she says. “All different types of fisheries are impacted … from abalone to sardines to snappers.”
But she says by implementing stronger rules to protect against overfishing and other threats, the industry can continue to thrive for many years to come.
“We need to look forward and establish management measures as soon as possible,” she says. “And if we have the right management measures in place, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, can all have delicious seafood to eat.”
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.