Ancient fish bones reveal impacts of global warming beneath the sea

Dec 12, 2007
Ancient fish bones reveal impacts of global warming beneath the sea
Part of the fishbones from 1m2 of the Maglemosegaard excavation. 48 percent of the 12,784 identified fish bones were from gadids, mainly cod. Each red bar segment on the scale is 1 cm. Credit: G. Brovad

Scientists studying ancient fish bones in Scandinavia have discovered that warm-water species like anchovies and black sea bream that once thrived in Danish waters during a prehistoric warm period are now returning. Some cold-water species, such as cod, were also abundant during this period, having benefited from a lower fishing effort.

Through the study of archaeological material, tax accounts, church registers and account books of monasteries, an international group of fisheries ecologists and fisheries/maritime historians have drawn a picture of marine life in the northern European seas (North Sea, Wadden Sea, Baltic Sea, and White Sea) as it looked in the past.

Their findings are presented in a special issue of Fisheries Research “History of Marine Animal Populations and their Exploitation in Northern Europe, ” 14 papers starting from ca. 7000 BC to present. The volume is edited by Henn Ojaveer and Brian R. MacKenzie.

New historical documentation is increasingly becoming available. Its interpretation is providing a broader basis for understanding processes and mechanisms that lead to variations in marine populations and ecosystems. The studies in this special issue are important contributions to the establishment of new baselines for management of marine ecosystems including conservation strategies for overexploited living resources. They were conducted under the auspices (or as part of) the History of Marine Animal Populations, a project of the international collaboration, the Census of Marine Life.

Fisheries Research “History of Marine Animal Populations and their Exploitation in Northern Europe Volume 87, Issues 2-3, Pages 101-262 (November 2007) www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01657836.

Source: Census of Marine Life

Explore further: Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Marine Protected Area proposed for Myanmar

Oct 22, 2014

The proposed establishment of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Myeik archipelago has received enthusiastic support by participants in a workshop held recently in Myanmar's Tanintharyi region.

To save the birds, look to the fish

Oct 17, 2014

Birds that dive for fish while wintering in the Salish Sea, located between British Columbia and Washington, are more likely to be in decline than nondiving birds with less specialized diets, according to ...

Researchers use ancient gene to study virus biology

Oct 15, 2014

Researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered that an ancient gene—ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), which occurs in all cellular life—provides important biological insights into the characteristics ...

Recommended for you

Cat dentals fill you with dread?

17 hours ago

A survey published this year found that over 50% of final year veterinary students in the UK do not feel confident either in discussing orodental problems with clients or in performing a detailed examination of the oral cavity ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dachpyarvile
not rated yet Dec 21, 2007
This is the smoking gun that shows that the global warming taking place today may not be man-made after all.