Marine heatwaves may force fish to flee huge distances

7 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Marine heatwaves may force fish to flee huge distances

Fish and other marine life may have to flee thousands of kilometres to escape damaging heatwaves, according to research published Wednesday, highlighting the scale of disruption caused by these increasing surges in ocean temperatures, reports AFP.

Hot spells can cause dramatic changes to ocean ecosystems, devastating coral habitats, killing large numbers of seabirds and forcing species like fish, whales and turtles into colder waters. Researchers said the increasing number of marine heatwaves are a sudden shock to local ecosystems. whose effects can last months or in some cases years. They are an additional stress on oceans that are also seeing long-term warming, says the study published in the journal Nature.

The researchers looked at how far a species caught in a marine heatwave would have to travel to get back to a normal water temperature, in what they term “thermal displacement”.