Best of our wild blogs: 25 Sep 12

Reflections on Conservation after a year and a bit
from Nature rambles

Blade dancers
from The annotated budak and Fell lady

The Wallace Lectures - Marine Biodiversity: Known and Unknown
from Lazy Lizard's Tales

Featured video: camera traps find rare, mountain animals in Sumatra
from news

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Biodiversity expert on board Singapore marine expedition

He is helping local researchers to conduct largest and most extensive marine survey here to date

Grace Chua Straits Times 25 Sep 12;

ON A recent trip to the cinema to watch the new sci-fi movie Men In Black 3, Dr Bertrand Richer de Forges, a marine biologist, saw a blob-shaped alien on screen.

"I caught that animal," he exclaimed.

It was a blobfish, a gelatinous creature with a perpetually gloomy expression that lives at ocean depths of more than 600m. Dr Richer de Forges found one during a 2003 expedition in the south-west Pacific Ocean.

The French-born biodiversity expert, known for his work in discovering new ecosystems, is normally based in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

He is in Singapore until early November on a Shell programme. He is helping Singapore researchers conduct the largest, most extensive marine survey expedition here to date, part of the three-year Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey that began in 2010.

Dr Richer de Forges advised on the equipment needed and how to put it together, and where and how to trawl, said Dr Tan Koh Siang - head of the Tropical Marine Science Institute's marine biology lab - who is in charge of the expedition.

The aim of the expedition is to sample a wide range of habitats - rocky, muddy or sandy, sloping or flat - which harbour different forms of life. A few hours of successful trawling can unearth enough creatures for months, if not years, of lab work, Dr Tan added.

Dr Richer de Forges has spent most of his 40-year career studying the "aliens" that live more than 200m below the surface, much deeper than ordinary divers can go.

He was born in Limoges, the landlocked heart of France, better known for its porcelain than its access to the sea, and studied at the Pierre- and-Marie-Curie University and Museum of Natural History.

He then studied crabs in the remote Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean in 1973, before doing the same in Tahiti and Mauritania.

In 1984, he moved to the French territory of New Caledonia, near Australia, to join the French Institute of Research for Development, a public research institute.

There, he embarked on expeditions around the Pacific, dropping small trawl nets overboard, then winching them up to collect and catalogue seabed life.

Last Friday, Dr Richer de Forges gave a talk on deep-sea marine biodiversity at the Botanic Gardens as part of a programme sponsored by Shell Singapore.

He explained that the ocean is 3.8km deep on average, and life below 200m is very different from life on the surface. Because of the low temperature, high pressure and scarcity of light and food, many deep-sea creatures have adapted in a special way to help them survive.

For example, many creatures give off a bioluminescent glow in order to catch food and find mates in the dark. Others, such as some corals and sponges, live for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years, their metabolic rate slowed to a crawl to survive on very little food.

Next year, scientists here plan to trawl the Singapore Deeps, a 200m-deep channel scoured by ancient currents off the Southern Islands, and Dr Richer de Forges will be back to help out.

"Humans live on only 29 per cent of the planet; 71 per cent is ocean," he said.

The marine expert, who retired in 2008, pointed out: "There's no real retirement for a marine biologist, we have so many things to do."

Related links
More about the Singapore Mega Marine Survey and how ordinary people can join

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RWS to open world's largest oceanarium in December

Ng Kai Ling Straits Times 25 Sep 12;

THE world's largest oceanarium will open in Sentosa on Dec 7, completing Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) five-year development. But the dolphins won't be at the opening party.

The 25 wild-caught dolphins, which animal activists have been lobbying to release back to their natural habitat, will be on display only next year to give them enough time to settle into their new enclosure. RWS declined to say when the dolphins will arrive or when visitors will be able to see them next year.

But the 8ha Marine Life Park, the size of 13 football fields, will open with more than 100,000 animals from 800 marine species.

And when it does, it is expected to give other attractions a run for their money, said analysts.

RWS said that with the resort fully operational, it expects more than 16 million visitors a year.

Some 30 million visitors visited it in its first two years of operation.

Since the opening of RWS and Marina Bay Sands in 2010, visitor arrivals to Singapore increased 36 per cent, from 9.7 million in 2009 to 13.2 million last year.

RWS' grand opening celebrations will include a performance by soprano Sarah Brightman and a 12-minute fireworks display.

The marine park will be home to a South-east Asia Aquarium and an Adventure Cove Waterpark.

Visitors get to see what an underwater world is like - with just giant glass panels separating them from the "ocean".

They can also snorkel at the park's Rainbow Reef and ride on South-east Asia's first hydromagnetic roller coaster, the Riptide Rocket.

Ticketing details are not available yet.

The dolphins will face competition from the pandas - Wildlife Reserves Singapore's River Safari will open its panda enclosure in December.

But tourism analysts expect Marine Life Park to take away visitors from Sentosa's other aquarium, Underwater World, as they target the same group of visitors.

They added that tourists, with limited time here, are more likely to gravitate towards RWS as it offers a full package, including hotels, restaurants, Universal Studios Singapore and the casino.

Asked what it intends to do to fend off the competition, an Underwater World spokesman would say only that "competition has certainly intensified, but the increase in Singapore's visitor arrivals should also benefit all stakeholders in the industry".

No dolphins at Marine Life Park opening
Adrian Lim my paper AsiaOne 25 Sep 12;

SINGAPORE - Resorts World Sentosa is set for a grand opening on Dec 7, as it puts the finishing touches on its second anchor attraction - the Marine Life Park.

But don't expect the 25 dolphins - caught in waters off the Solomon Islands, near Papua New Guinea - which have been a point of contention for animal-rights activists, to be there then.

Resorts World said at a media briefing yesterday that the arrival dates of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins have not been firmed up yet. The mammals are being held in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

The dolphins are to be part of a series of immersive programmes beginning next year, to be held at the park's Adventure Cove Waterpark.

As part of the programmes, visitors will be able to feed and interact with the dolphins, and learn more about their anatomy.

The programmes are "meant to be rolled out progressively after the opening of the park to ease operations", Mr Robin Goh, assistant director of communications at Resorts World, told my paper.

Still, visitors will have much to look forward to at the Marine Life Park - which comprises the "wet" Adventure Cove Waterpark and a "dry" South-east Asia Aquarium (SEA Aquarium).

Besides thrilling rides, the former will feature Rainbow Reef, where visitors can snorkel alongside some 20,000 fishes.

The SEA Aquarium will boast the world's largest viewing panel, although Resorts World did not provide further details.

It will showcase marine animals like manta rays and hammerhead sharks.

The park is billed as the world's largest oceanarium, with more than 60 million litres of water, and 100,000 marine animals from over 800 species.

Marine Life Park's completion marks another milestone for Resorts World, which opened for business in January 2010. In March that year, it opened its first anchor attraction, the Universal Studios Singapore theme park.

With the upcoming grand opening, Resorts World has its sights set on extending its average guest-stay duration from the current three days to four days next year. It is also targeting to attract more than 16 million visitors next year, up from 30 million visitors recorded in its first two years.

British soprano Sarah Brightman, who will be accompanied by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, is set to perform at the grand opening.

Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, said the Marine Life Park can serve as an educational tool, but it can do without the dolphins. He pointed out that a threat facing the specific dolphin species comes from being captured live for oceanarium display.

Mr Ng said: "It's going to be a contradiction if Resorts World says it is here to educate the public about dolphin protection."

Mr Biswajit Guha, the park's director, said: "There is very little baseline data about Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in the wild.

"All the data collected can contribute to managing (the) animals in the wild."

RWS to unveil oceanarium
World's largest such facility to welcome visitors before resort's grand opening on Dec 7
Woo Sian Boon Today Online 25 Sep 12;

SINGAPORE - Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) will be unveiling the world's largest oceanarium ahead of the resort's grand opening on Dec 7, but stopped short of providing an official date.

Housing more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species in more than 60 million litres of water, the Marine Life Park will comprise of two ticketed attractions: The Adventure Cove Waterpark featuring a hydro-magnetic coaster and the South East Asia Aquarium.

In a media preview yesterday, Marine Life Park Director Biswajit Guha also promised that the 25 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins it acquired - which have provoked much controversy - will be part of "interactive programmes" which will be "progressively introduced" next year.

Animal activists were up in arms when some of the wild-caught dolphins died in their holding area in Malaysia in 2010, and animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) has petitioned for RWS to release and rehabilitate the mammals.

However, Mr Guha said that the dolphins, which are now in the Philippines, "are doing very well" but did not say when they will be arriving at the park.

He reiterated that the dolphins will be "given the best care possible" when they arrive.

"To ensure that, we adhere and even go beyond the guidelines stipulated by the American Zoo and Aquariums Association as well as the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks Aquariums.

"We also have a full team on board comprising veterinarians, marine mammal specialists, a life systems support specialist - all these will holistically ensure that the dolphins are given the best care," he added.

Mr Guha said that the dolphins will be "ambassadors" for the park's three pillars of conservation, research and education.

However, ACRES Executive Director Louis Ng maintained that the park does not need live dolphins to engage in educational outreach.

Citing the example of Switzerland, where its government recently banned any further import of dolphins, Mr Ng questioned why Singapore is "starting something which other countries are stopping".

He said: "How will Resorts World tell the kids, look, these dolphins are here, but the biggest threat they face is because we are capturing them? How can this be education?"

Mr Ng said ACRES will support the park if focuses on ethical acquisition polices.

Questioning how many of the park's animals were captured from the wild or obtained sustainably, he said: "You can't educate people when you don't practice what you preach."

Marine Life Park to open to public ahead of RWS official opening
Olivia Siong Channel NewsAsia 24 Sep 12;

SINGAPORE: Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) said it targets to bring in 16 million visitors next year.

The integrated resort also announced that its second anchor attraction - the Marine Life Park - will open days ahead of RWS' official opening on December 7.

The exact date of the park's opening was not given to the media.

The Marine Life Park will be the world's largest oceanarium and will house more than 100,000 marine animals.

These include 25 dolphins, which will be part of the park's interactive programme that starts next year.

The dolphins were the subject of controversy last year, with some animal welfare groups calling for them to be freed.

In response to critics, Mr Biswajit Guha, director of Education and Conservation at the Marine Life Park, said: "The dolphins are doing very well, 25 of them (are) in the Philippines. I don't have any firmed up dates yet to share with you at this stage about when they'll be arriving.

"Essentially, all of the standards meet and in fact exceed the guidelines set by the American Zoos and Aquariums Association, as well as the Alliance for Marine Mammals Parks and Aquariums. In that respect, we're fully confident that the dolphins will receive the best care possible."

Mr Guha added the Marine Life Park is open to continue working with non-government organisations (NGOs) and other agencies that focus on marine education and conservation.

He said they welcome the opportunity to collaborate on such issues.

RWS first opened to the public in 2010 and has attracted some 30 million visitors since then.

It is hoped the new attraction will also encourage more to extend their stay at the resort.

Mr Greg Allan, vice president, Rooms and F&B, Resorts World Sentosa, said: "We hope they'll stay an additional night. We feel that the Marine Life Park will add significantly to the options available to families visiting. We are very much a family resort, and this is an experience that all age groups can come and enjoy together."

Visitors can also expect a weekend of festivities during the grand opening.

The highlights of the grand opening include public performances and a 12-minute public fireworks display at the RWS waterfront promenade.

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Maritime tool to help ships in Singapore, Malacca straits

Straits Times 25 Sep 12;

WITH more than 70,000 ships using the straits of Malacca and Singapore each year, safe passage is a key concern and the focus of a new collaboration between Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The initiative called Marine Electronic Highway, to be rolled out next year, will relay real-time data - on winds, weather and currents - to ships from maritime information centres in the three countries.

Ships will also be alerted to the locations of protected natural areas and coral reefs.

The project was launched yesterday by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, guest of honour at a maritime conference.

A trial had been done between March 28 and May 4 this year to test communication links and realtime display of information.

Mr Lui, speaking at the opening of the forum, said the straits are a crucial link between Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. More than 70,000 vessels carrying about one-third of the world's goods use the waterway each year.

In the coming decades, with the rise of Asia in the global economy, the importance of the straits to the international community will grow exponentially, he added.

"It is therefore essential that the straits remain open, safe and secure," said Mr Lui.

The two-day conference, called 5th Co-operation Forum, has drawn 150 delegates from 32 countries. It is hosted by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.


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Famous Begging Dolphin Found Dead

Stephanie Pappas Yahoo News 25 Sep 12;

A dolphin known as "Beggar" for his tendency to approach boaters for food has been found dead, possibly as a result of his poor diet.

Beggar was found floating in the water near Albee Road Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday (Sept 21). His body was partially decomposed, making it impossible to determine the exact cause of death. However, the dolphin's digestive tract contained fishing hooks, squid beaks (not usual prey for dolphins in the area) and ulcers, suggesting that humans may have contributed to his demise.

According to the Mote Marine Laboratory, for the past 20 years, Beggar has been hanging out in the area where he was found dead. He was known to approach boats looking for food. During 100 hours of observations over several months in 2011, researchers with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program observed Beggar interacting with humans 3,600 times. People tried 169 times to feed Beggar an impressive range of 520 foods, including beer and hot dogs. On 121 occasions, boaters tried to pet the dolphin. Nine times, they were bitten for their efforts.

Over the years, the dolphin became a poster child for why feeding marine wildlife is illegal. The behavior put Beggar at risk of getting hit by a boat, Mote reported, and other dolphins seemed to learn his bad behavior by watching him. [Gallery: A Dolphin Success Story]

It is illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to feed or pet wild dolphins. Punishments include up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation.

The Sarasota County Marine Patrol brought Beggar's body in for a necropsy (animal autopsy) at Mote. Scientists found the dolphin had been struck by boats in the past; he had healed boat scars on his dorsal fin as well as several healed puncture wounds on his fins and body. He also had multiple broken ribs and vertebrae.

Beggar had not eaten much before death. Dolphin stomachs are made up of three compartments. In Beggar's first stomach compartment were three fishing hooks and fragments of fishing line. In his third stomach compartment, researchers found the squid beaks, suggesting human feeding with fishing bait, and several ulcers. Beggar was also dehydrated, possibly because of his skewed diet, Mote reported. Two old stingray barbs were also embedded in Beggar's flesh.

"We can't say which of these many injuries was the ultimate cause of death for Beggar," Gretchen Lovewell, the manager of Mote's Stranding Investigations Program, said in a statement. "But all of our findings indicate that he was in poor health for a long time and that his interactions with humans played a role. Boat strike wounds, fishing hooks and line in his stomach — even the squid beaks we found — all of these things indicate that he was spending more time attempting to get food from humans than foraging on his own."

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Climate Is Changing the Great Barrier Reef

ScienceDaily 24 Sep 12;

Satellite measurement of sea surface temperatures has yielded clear evidence of major changes taking place in the waters of Australia's Great Barrier Reef over the past 25 years, marine scientists have found.

The changes have big implications for the future management of the GBR and its marine protected areas say Dr Natalie Ban and Professor Bob Pressey of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, who led the study with Dr Scarla Weeks from the University of Queensland.

"When we looked back at satellite data collected since 1985, we found evidence that most of the regions of the GBR are changing significantly, in terms of sea surface temperature -- especially in the southern part of the reef," Dr Ban, who is the lead author of a new scientific paper on the issue, says.

"Risk of coral bleaching increases with higher water temperatures. Across the whole reef we found water temperatures increasing by an average of 0.2 of a degree over a quarter of a century -- but the increase was significantly more in some areas.

"For example, off Rockhampton the water has warmed by about half a degree over the last 25 years."

The changes were also altering the seasonal patterns of water temperature at particular places along the reef, Dr Ban says. "In some areas summer is coming earlier and lasting longer; in others, both summers and winters are warmer than in the past. This all affects the sea life."

The research has revealed temperature conditions are dynamic, with warmer waters moving in both space and time -- posing new questions for the management of Green Zones and other protected areas which tend to be fixed.

"Some people think we ought to have the highest levels of protection for areas that are changing the least, so they remain as refugia to recharge the surrounding reef areas," Dr Ban says.

"Others argue the opposite -- that the greatest protection should be afforded to the most vulnerable areas.

"Others still argue that Green Zones and other types of restrictions should migrate geographically along with the climate -- that their boundaries should change gradually in line with trends in water temperature and reef biology.

"Our aim in publishing this paper on what is actually happening is to stimulate and inform this discussion, so that we can come up with the best and most flexible system for managing the GBR through what will undoubtedly be momentous environmental change."

The present Green Zones, where fishing is prohibited, cover the same temperature ranges as the whole reef, she says -- but the debate on what to do next is only now getting under way.

With a view to encouraging discussion, the team has put forward three alternative scenarios for how the temperature data can be used to design appropriate management strategies for protected areas.

"We need to understand what we are managing for, to have the best management plan," she explains.

Australia is recognised as a world leader in managing coral reefs, and was again leading global thinking about how to best manage them as waters warm and conditions change. "We hope that our research will also prove valuable to countries of the Coral Triangle who are trying to manage the world's centre of coral diversity through this challenging period," she says.

Journal Reference:

Natalie C. Ban, Robert L. Pressey, Scarla Weeks. Conservation Objectives and Sea-Surface Temperature Anomalies in the Great Barrier Reef. Conservation Biology, 2012; 26 (5): 799 DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01894.x

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Scientists Predict Major Shifts in Pacific Ecosystems by 2100

ScienceDaily 23 Sep 12;

What if you woke up every day to find that the closest grocery store had moved several miles farther away from your home? Over time, you would have to travel hundreds of extra miles to find essential food for yourself and your family. This is potentially a scenario faced by thousands of marine animals affected by climate change.

A new study published in Nature Climate Change examines the distribution of various open ocean animals in the North Pacific and explores how that could change over the next century as global ocean temperatures increase and productivity levels shift. The researchers conclude that some critical ocean habitats could undergo significant changes in location, moving more than 600 miles from where they are now, while other habitats could remain relatively unchanged.

Among large animals, loggerhead turtles, some sharks and blue whales may face the harshest impacts of climate change while some seabirds may actually benefit. Not only are species at risk, but also coastal communities and industries could feel the impact since top predator habitat shifts can result in the displacement of fisheries and ecotourism, such as whale watching.

"For species already stressed by overfishing or other human impacts, increased migration time and loss of habitat could be a heavy blow," said Elliott Hazen, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researcher on the project who is affiliated with the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford. "But if we can build some plausible scenarios of how marine ecosystems may change, this may help efforts to prioritize and proactively manage them."

In order to carry out their study, the authors employed complex mathematical models with data from the decade-long "Tagging of Pacific Predators" (TOPP) project, in which 4,300 electronic tags placed on 23 species from 2000 to 2009 created unprecedented insight into migration patterns and hotspots of predator species in the northern Pacific.

Satellite measurements of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a (used to estimate surface productivity) were combined with the tracking data to identify "key habitat areas" for a variety of different ocean predators. The researchers then used climate models of ocean temperature and productivity to ascertain how those key habitat areas might change in the face of ocean warming.

One of these key habitat areas, known as the North Pacific Transition Zone, marks the interface between cold, nutrient-rich polar water to the north and warmer, nutrient-poor water to the south. This region is used by a variety of ocean predators, including marine mammals, tunas and seabirds, as a corridor across the Pacific Ocean basin. The study suggests that this critical region could shift by as much as 600 miles, resulting in a 20 percent loss of species diversity in the region.

Other critical habitat areas, however, may experience little or no impact. The California Current, which runs along the west coast of North America, supports a variety of open ocean predators each year, when cold, nutrient-rich water creates regions of high productivity. This so-called upwelling cycle would likely continue despite ocean warming. "The fact that tagging indicates this is the number one lunch stop in town along the most populous coast in the nation -- and stabilizes in a warming world -- increases our opportunity to consider how to protect these hot spots," said Barbara Block, the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences at Stanford, who is heavily involved in TOPP.

Among the Pacific's top predators, turtles, sharks and marine mammals such as whales appear to be most at risk from habitat shifts associated with Pacific warming. In some cases, predicted losses in essential habitat ranged as high as 35 percent.

But animals such as seabirds and tunas may benefit from climate-change-related shifts that could actually increase their potential habitat for foraging due to their broader tolerances to temperature.

"The differences from one species to another is their ability to adapt to temperatures and to use multiple ocean areas," said Hazen. "Having multiple sources of food, migration corridors and areas to call home provides a buffer against climate variability and change."

"Modeling of future scenarios is used in national security, financial investing and other critical areas," said Larry Crowder, the science director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, who was involved in the study.

"Here we use it to envision climate change impacts on large predators in the Pacific so that steps can be taken to better manage species that are important both commercially and for conservation goals," he said.

Based on these predictions, marine and coastal managers may alter fishing catches or revamp marine protected areas.

The research was a collaboration including Salvador Jorgensen of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, Ryan Rykaczewski of the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Steven Bograd of NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

The Center for Ocean Solutions is a collaboration among Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment and Hopkins Marine Station, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Journal Reference:

Elliott L. Hazen, Salvador Jorgensen, Ryan R. Rykaczewski, Steven J. Bograd, David G. Foley, Ian D. Jonsen, Scott A. Shaffer, John P. Dunne, Daniel P. Costa, Larry B. Crowder, Barbara A. Block. Predicted habitat shifts of Pacific top predators in a changing climate. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1686

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Report warns of global food insecurity as climate change destroys fisheries

Persian Gulf, Libya, and Pakistan expected to be hardest hit by decline in fish stocks in coming decades
Suzanne Goldenberg 24 Sep 12;

The Persian Gulf, Libya, and Pakistan are at high risk of food insecurity in coming decades because climate change and ocean acidification are destroying fisheries, according to a report released on Monday.

The report from the campaign group Oceana warns of growing food insecurity, especially for poorer people, from the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, Eritrea, Guyana, Indonesia, Kuwait and Singapore.

Some of the countries at highest risk were in oil-rich – and politically volatile – regions.

"The Persian Gulf is actually expected to be one of the hardest-hit regions. In terms of fish catch they are supposed to lose over 50% of their fisheries," said Matt Huelsenbeck, an Oceana marine scientist and author of the report.

The report put Iran, Libya, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates among the top 10 countries most at risk because of the decline in fish stocks due to climate change.

"There are definitely tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen operating in the Persian Gulf and they will be hardest hit by the impacts," he said.

America is expected to lose about 12% of its catch potential by mid-century, the report said.

The study used climate models created by the University of British Columbia to rank countries' exposure to degradation of the oceans due to climate change and ocean acidification.

Low-income countries, with high levels of malnutrition and rapid population growth, such as Pakistan, were viewed as high risk. So were small island states that depend heavily on coral reef fisheries and on conches, oysters, clams and other shellfish.

About 1 billion people depend on seafood as their main source of protein. But some of those countries most dependent on fishing are expected to lose up to 40% of their fish catch by the middle of the century.

The changes in ocean chemistry, when sea water absorbs rising levels of carbon dioxide, have upset the balance of marine life. Coral reefs in the Caribbean are on the verge of collapse. Oysters and clams are unable to produce their hard protective shells.

Meanwhile, rising temperatures are driving fish species from the tropics towards deeper and colder waters.

The study looked at potential impacts in mid-century. But the first effects of climate change and the changing ocean chemistry are already evident, however, in Kenya where the loss of coral reefs is pushing down fish stocks and on the US Pacific coast which has seen a die-off of oyster beds in Oregon.

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