Sea surface temperatures in Korean waters have increased by approximately 1 °C during the past 40 years, implying possible range shifts of marine fishes and invertebrates. We analyzed spatially explicit, commercial catch data for 12 major fish species collected from 1984 to 2010 in Korean waters to evaluate and project their range shifts based on climate-driven hydrographic changes simulated by a general circulation model under a climate change scenario. There were significant relationships between the mean latitude of the catch distribution and water temperature for seven of the 12 species examined. Our circulation model projected that temperature stratification in the Korea Strait will disappear by 2030, and our empirical relationships predicted that the ranges of five of the fish species examined will shift poleward by 19–71 km from the 2000s to the 2030s. Compared with studies of demersal fishes in the western North Atlantic and the North Sea, our estimated speeds of shift in mean latitude of fishes were, on average, slower by factors of 2.3 and 5.7, respectively. This suggests that the pattern of range shift of marine species can vary regionally, depending on oceanographic and geomorphologic conditions. International cooperative research among fisheries scientists from countries throughout the region, especially Japan and China, is required to more reliably and comprehensively assess and project the range shifts of fish species. This will provide a scientific basis for the development of fishery policies and their adaptation to climate change in the western North Pacific.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2013
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