Warmer waters – stranger fish

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Photo: flickr.com/creativecommons

A wide variety of species unknown to Norwegian waters is ready to establish along the Norwegian coastline. Exotic fish such as the big ocean sunfish are now a common sight. With climate change increasing the temperature of the world’s oceans, stories like this will be more common in the future.

Rising temperatures in the oceans around the globe have resulted in a migration amongst several species of fish. In Norway, fish that used to be limited to tropical waters are now a common sight, and the beautiful, small and mythical seahorse might already have settled down.

Last week, the big ocean sunfish was yet again spotted on the Norwegian coast. This large and exotic fish that belongs to warmer waters is being observed in Norwegian waters at an increasing rate. With temperature rises of up to 2,4 degrees celsius since the 1980’s, Norwegian waters are seeing an influx of new species not native to the Norwegian habitat.  Other species including the St Peter’s fish, Pacific oyster and different deep-sea sharks are all getting closer to settling down along the Norwegian coast due to the rise in ocean temperatures.

This can eventually become a problem, because the new arriving species take over the habitats of species native to Norwegian waters, resulting in a loss of biodiversity. Therefore, the battle against climate change is not only important for the species living on land, but also for the species of the world’s oceans.

Although an exotic sight for inhabitants living around colder waters, we should hope that the newly arrived species are only visiting.

To read more about how climate change might affect our oceans, visit the Norwegian institute of marine research here