Fishes Prefer Lying On the Ocean Floor during Sunny Days, Study


Humans usually don't prefer going out during sunny days and just like to laze around at home. Rising oceanic temperatures due to global warming is making certain fishes lazy too, according to a study by ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

The researchers have found that populations of coral trout are becoming lazy and are finding it difficult to swim to either search for food or reproduce. They instead prefer resting on the ocean floor.

The finding is based on the observation of the commercially important coral trout. As fishes swim to hunt for food and find mates, this behavior poses a great threat to the environment, the food chain and fisheries.

"Global warming may reduce the swimming ability of many fish species, and have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce," researcher Jacob Johansen said in a statement.

The researchers said that even when the fish manage to get out, they swim at slower rates, which is likely to affect their ability to find food or visit spawning sites.

"The loss of swimming performance and reduced ability to maintain important activities, like moving to a spawning site to reproduce, could have major implications for the future distribution and abundance of these species," Johansen said.

Johansen said the coral trout located in the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef tolerate warmer temperatures better than their southern peers.

"Coral trout is one of the most important fisheries in the South-East Pacific. If we want to keep this fishery in the future, it is critical that we understand how global warming may impact the species. This will allow us to develop management plans that will help to keep the species, and its fisheries, healthy," Johansen said.

The study has been published in the journal Global Change Biology.

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