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Source: ISTOCK

Overheating Oceans and Overfishing Has Caused Fish Populations to Significantly Decline, Study Finds

By Sophie Hirsh

For more than a decade now, scientists have suspected that we could have fishless oceans by 2048. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that human-caused climate change has already caused our oceans to overheat and reduce the overall fish population. According to a new study, the world's fish population has depleted by 4.1 percent since 1930, primarily due to overheating oceans. Luckily, there are plenty of actions we as humans can take to prevent a fishless ocean from actually happening.

The study, titled "Impacts of historical warming on marine fisheries production," was published in the journal Science this week, and authored by several universities and fishery science centers. For the report, the authors studied the "maximum sustainable yield" of 235 different temperature-dependent populations of 124 fish species in 38 ecoregions, from 1930 to 2010.

The researchers found that about 4 percent of fish populations responded to warming oceans positively, but 8 percent of populations responded to the change negatively. They concluded that the "maximum sustainable yield" of the fish populations studied declined by 4.1 percent between 1930 and 2010. According to The Independent, some of the key fish populations to shrink include cod, herring, and certain shellfish.