MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 17th 2018 - 00:21 UTC

Sorry, “no fish and chips, what about some squid and chips”; UK waters warming

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 - 16:17 UTC
Full article 11 comments
Squid and other fish that thrive in warmer waters, such as sardines and anchovy, are flourishing around the North Sea, according to fisheries data. Squid and other fish that thrive in warmer waters, such as sardines and anchovy, are flourishing around the North Sea, according to fisheries data.
Squid are now being caught at 60% of survey stations in the North Sea, compared to  20% in the 1980s, but the likes of cod are heading north, away from UK waters. Squid are now being caught at 60% of survey stations in the North Sea, compared to 20% in the 1980s, but the likes of cod are heading north, away from UK waters.
“Twenty or 30 years ago we hardly saw squid in our surveys,” Dr. Pinnegar told   BBC News. “Twenty or 30 years ago we hardly saw squid in our surveys,” Dr. Pinnegar told BBC News.

The traditional British fish supper could be replaced by the likes of squid as the waters around the UK's shores grow warmer, say government scientists. Squid and other fish that thrive in warmer waters, such as sardines and anchovy, are flourishing around the North Sea, according to fisheries data. Squid are now being caught at 60% of survey stations in the North Sea, compared with 20% in the 1980s, but the likes of cod are heading north, away from British waters.

 Dr John Pinnegar, of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), which has been monitoring North Sea fish populations for more than 100 years, said models for 2025 and beyond suggested that seawater temperatures off the UK may continue to rise. Fishing boats are now catching species that have not been caught in the area before.

“Twenty or 30 years ago we hardly saw squid in our surveys,” he told BBC News.

Dr Pinnegar, program director for marine climate change at Cefas, said summer squid fisheries had expanded around the Moray Firth in north-east Scotland, as part of efforts to reduce over-fishing of more traditional species such as haddock and cod.

“A lot of the things we see increasing in abundance around the UK are fish that would probably originally [be] thought of as being Mediterranean or characteristic of the Bay of Biscay, or around Portugal or Spain,” he added.

“They're now increasing in UK waters because the waters are getting more conducive for those sorts of species, whereas other species are shifting the centre of their distribution towards the north of the UK.”

Long-term data shows the centre of distribution of cod has moved north towards Norway, whereas plaice is moving across the North Sea from the Netherlands towards Scotland. Currently, squid catches off the UK tend to be exported to other countries, but Dr Pinnegar, who is presenting data on trends in fish stocks at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Liverpool, believes that may change.

“Maybe consumers might like to choose species that are distributed in our own waters rather than importing some of this,” he said.

“There are quite a lot of species that seem to be increasing - things like red mullet, anchovies, sardines, John Dory, squid - all of these are quite nice to eat but they are the kind of thing you would have normally have eaten on your holiday to Spain or Portugal.”

A study earlier this year found that squid appeared to be benefiting from climate change, at the expense of finned fish, and they have been identified as a valuable alternative fishing target, particularly in the North Sea.

Worldwide catches of squid, octopus and cuttlefish have increased considerably over the last two decades. Efforts are under way to understand more about the sustainability of populations before they become the target of large-scale fisheries.

Categories: Fisheries, International.
Tags: squid.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Briton

    More great advice from the experts,
    or just a sales pitch...lol

    Dec 13th, 2016 - 08:10 pm 0
  • Marti Llazo

    “The traditional British fish supper could be replaced by the likes of squid as the waters around the UK's shores grow warmer, say government scientists...”

    “Government scientists” who have never passed an economics course and remain blissfully unaware that fishing fleets go where the fish are, rather than fearing to stray from home harbours.

    Dec 14th, 2016 - 01:56 am 0
  • ElaineB

    I am not sure it would replace cod or other white fish but why not offer it as an additional choice. Lots of people eat squid, it is hardly exotic.

    Dec 14th, 2016 - 12:28 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!