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Cod Could Disappear From British Fish And Chips

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Cod Could Disappear From British Fish And Chips

Cod and monkfish could potentially disappear from British menus due to climate change, researchers say.

A study looked at stocks in UK fisheries based in the south-west of the country and the findings show that it could be up to us to save certain species.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

With the seas that surround the UK experiencing significant warming over the last 40 years, the researchers believe that if the trend continues then we can expect to see a rise in species that usually live in warmer waters.

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The Celtic Sea, southern North Sea and English Channel are where we have usually got the cold species fish that we're used to in your classic British dish, largely cod and monkfish. But the future might see a rise in red mullet, Dover sole, lemon sole and John Dory (which is often found in Mediterranean waters) being used for food in the UK.

The new research project was a joint effort, with the Universities of Exeter and Bristol enlisting the help of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aqua-culture Science, as well as the Met Office.

They said that not only will the decline in the species affect your Friday chippy, but it will also mean the wider ecosystem will change.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Lead author, Dr Katherine Maltby, said: "Climate change will continue to affect fish stocks in this sea region."

Dr Maltby and her team of scientists also believe that for the future of the endangered species to be protected, there will need to be changes in how they are caught.

The study reads: "Future management would need to balance facilitating access for fishers while also determining appropriate harvesting levels, or Total Allowable Catches, to ensure long‐term sustainability.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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"Results suggest implications not only for the wider ecosystem (e.g. predator-prey dynamics or community composition) but also that the fishing industry and management systems will likely have to adjust their operations to address changes in availability, catchability and composition of catches."

The study continued on to explain that the different species seen to be declining will need to be protected, with fishery managers needing to consider what measures they will take.

These may include reducing how many fish can be killed, or limiting how many can be caught. This will be likely to push up the price of the fish, which are currently seen as a more affordable option.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, UK News, climate change

Amelia Ward
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