Traditional Yorkshire Haddock and Chips could be a thing of the past

Fish and chips
Fish and chips
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Haddock and chips could become a thing of the past as the North Sea gets warmer, according to new research.

Fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole could be off the menu because of rising sea temperatures.

In the last 40 years the North Sea has warmed four times faster than the global average and further warming is predicted over the coming century, which has led scientists to study how this will impact on commercial species.

Fish distributions are limited by water temperature and some species can only thrive in certain habitats and depths.

Researchers developed a model that combined long-term fisheries datasets and climate model projections from the Met Office to predict the abundance and distribution of the UK’s favourite fish over the next 50 years.

The team found that as the North Sea warms some species of fish will have little capacity to move northwards to avoid warming temperatures, as habitat of a suitable depth is not available.

Due to higher temperatures, many of the species studied are predicted to reduce in relative abundance.

Dr Steve Simpson said the findings are important for both consumers and the fishing industry.

“We will see a real changing of the guard in the next few decades,” he said.

“Our models predict cold water species will be squeezed out, with warmer water fish likely to take their place.

“For sustainable UK fisheries, we need to move on from haddock and chips and look to Southern Europe for our gastronomic inspiration.”