One of the most popular dishes in the English eateries is the ‘Fish and chips’. Nowhere do people love fish and chips more than in the United Kingdom, where the National Federation of Fish Friers calls it “the undisputed National dish of Great Britain”. The fish used is commonly battered arctic cod. But increased global warming may cause the popular English dish to be served with John Dory, red mullet, or sardines.
he species of zooplankton that is one of the preferred foods of larval cod simply can’t take the heat, according to a recent report. Less food could mean fewer cod surviving to adulthood when they can be caught by local fishermen.
The plankton that young cod usually eat during March, April and May, a species of copepod that is the size of a grain of rice, prefer cold water and so they have become much less frequent as the North Sea has warmed. These copepods have moved north, and the plankton replacing them come later in the year, which is no good for the young cod.
Over the last 40 years the North Sea’s temperature has increased by one degree centigrade, which has proved enough to prompt cod to seek alternative habitats. Fishes being cold blooded species prefer a water temperature between 41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit for growth and activity levels. But due to the rising temperature of the water, most of the fish species of the arctic waters are seeking new home in cooler waters.
Experts have said that after all cod have left the North Sea they could find a new home in the Barents Sea. If the increase in global temperatures continues, cod will inevitably disappear as a commercial species in the North Sea whatever the reduction in fishing.
But that is not the end of fish and chips in Britain, as most of the cods captured now-a-days comes from the Barents Sea itself. Though the study that predicted that cods number are declining in the North Sea, it does not mean cods are becoming extinct. Though cods number had declined in the past and hasn’t boomed back even after stringent fishing regulations, cods are far from being extinct.
The report published indeed brings bad news as it gives an idea how the arctic ecosystem is affected by global warming. The cod’s absence in these parts leads to the increase in crabs and shrimps and have misbalanced the whole ecosystem.