Scientific Discoveries: The Answers are in the Ocean

Lazy Fish
Los Angeles, CA – September 12, 2022

In the news, researchers that specialize in reef studies at James Cook University have found that warming oceans could slow down active reef fish. Studies conducted by the University's ACR Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have revealed that steadily increasing ocean temperatures have caused large reef fish to become lethargic. Many of the fish affected tend to rest on reefs or at the sea bottom, when they do take to the seas, they swim and a exceedingly reduced rate of speed.

This discovery poses some problems for the large fish of the reef since they must swim to feed, spawn, and escape predators. Since this discovery, the researchers have switched their focus to determining the ability of the lazy reef fish to adapt to the warmer temperatures. Many feel the abrupt change in ocean temps has not allowed the reef fish the time they need to adapt naturally.

Researchers say the biggest worry is the effect warmer temperatures will have on commercially fished species such as coral trout. If the trout can not reproduce fast enough, their depleted numbers will severely affect our ability to harvest them. The inability for these species to reproduce fast enough in relation to harvesting could cause the large coral reef species to disappear in time.

On a lighter note, the researches stated that coral trout that spawn in in the South-East Pacific thrive as a result of their adaptation to warmer ocean temps. This means if the coral trout in northern waters can adapt, we could see a spike in population growth.

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