Billfish and tuna, important commercial and recreational fish species, may be more vulnerable to fishing pressure because of shrinking habitat, according to a new study published by scientists from NOAA, The Billfish Foundation, and University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Prince et. al:
. . . confirmed that billfish prefer oxygen rich waters closer to the surface and will actively avoid waters low in oxygen. […] . . . these zones are expanding and occurring closer to the sea surface, and are expected to continue to grow as sea temperatures rise. Less available habitat can lead to more fish being caught since the fish are concentrated near the surface. Higher catch rates from these areas may give the false appearance of more abundant fish stocks.
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Eric D. Prince, Jiangang Luo, C. Phillip Goodyear, John P. Hoolihan, Derke Snodgrass, Eric S. Orbesen, Joseph E. Serafy, Mauricio Ortiz and Michael J. Schirripa. Ocean scale hypoxia-based habitat compression of Atlantic istiophorid billfishes. Fisheries Oceanography, Volume 19, Issue 6