The ocean temperature off the west coast of Australia has risen by 10 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s killing off large numbers of valuable seafood stocks reports Babs Mchugh at Australian ABC News. This extreme marine heatwave started a year ago, surprising scientists, and now is damaging commercial fisheries. Dr Rick Fletcher of the Fisheries Department of Western Australia says the temperature increase resulted from several factors. About two years ago the Leeuwin current, which flows down the west coast of Western Australia, [and] brings hot water from the tropics, was flowing quite strongly. It coincided with some very hot air temperatures and very calm conditions, allowing water temperature to increase substantially, he noted. He added that the increase is the most extreme ever recorded off that coast. The impact has devastated several marine shellfish. About 90 percent of the abalone in the northern west coast died off immediately. Over a longer time period, scallop has decreased in Shark Bay and the Abrolhos Islands, key commercial fishing areas. Fewer juvenile and adult crabs are being observed in Shark Bay, a large bay home to many marine species.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. This is how YOU can make a difference.
West Australian coastal waters in the grip of marine heatwave. The ocean temperature off the west coast of Australia has risen by five degrees, and the impact has been devastating on several marine species. Australia ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201212/s3661604.htm