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A warming North Sea brings squid to Aberdeen and the Moray Firth - 9th January

Squid

Scottish fishermen have uncovered an intriguing way to supplement their income: they have added squid to the menu of marine creatures they regularly pull from the sea. A species normally associated with the warmth of the Mediterranean, rather than the freezing north, may seem an odd addition to their usual catches of cod and haddock. Nevertheless, squid has become a nice little earner for fishing boats from Aberdeen and the Moray Firth in recent years.

Thirty years ago, squid was a rarity in the North Sea. Today, boats bring back thousands of tonnes a year – though cod and haddock still dominate catches. Red mullet, sardines and sea bass have also appeared with increasing frequency in North Sea fishermen’s nets in recent years. All of them are associated with warmer waters and their appearance is seen by many scientists as a sign that climate change is beginning to have a serious impact on our planet’s oceans.

For Scottish lovers of fresh squid, this is good news. However, in many other parts of the world, rising sea temperatures – triggered by climate change – are providing fishing industries and governments with major headaches. Fish are moving hundreds of miles from their old grounds, sometimes out of zones that had been set up to protect them. In other cases, fish are simply disappearing from nets.

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