PAC – SEA DELICACY: IB ONLINE PACNEWS 1: Wed 09 July 2008
Pacific Islands’ delicacy under threat
09 JULY 2008 FORT LAUDERDALE (Pacnews) ----- Baby fish, a delicacy in many Pacific islands diets, will be threatened as an impact of global warming.
Islandsbusiness.com reports the warning came from Dr Philip Munday, a marine scientist with Australia’s James Cook University in his presentation at the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium which opened in this coastal US city on Monday.
Studies done by his Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies suggest that with a rise in ocean temperature, the ability of baby fish referred to by marine biologists as coral reef fish larvae to survive will be affected.
“Warmer waters will affect how far fish larvae will dispense into the deep ocean after being released by their mother,” Dr Munday told journalists covering the symposium. “Rise in water temperature will also affect their ability to return to a coral reef where then can feed and grow.” Cutting carbon emission will help a great deal in countering the phenomenon, the Australian scientist argued.
Custodians of coral reefs also have a big role to play. “We all must monitor the health of our coral reefs ensuring that their conditions don’t deteriorate,” said Dr Munday
“We must also promote marine protected areas (MPA) to reduce other stresses like overfishing.” Research is also raising interesting data about fish larvae. A study by a group of scientists in Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea seem to suggest a link between larvae and rainforest leaves, which explains why larvae tend to return to natal reefs, or reefs where they were born.
Dr Bob Warner of the University of California, Santa Barbara said these coral reef fish larvae are prolific swimmers, with some estimated to swim for up to 30 kilometres………PNS (ENDS)