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Cod And Haddock Going North Says Grauniad

September 4, 2017

By Paul Homewood

h/t Patsy Lacey

The Guardian is peddling the latest climate scare, about how all of our fish are migrating to cooler parts:


Britain must prepare itself for invasions of growing numbers of foreign sea creatures attracted by our warming waters, a new report has warned. Some newcomers could have devastating effects, others could be beneficial, say the researchers.

Examples provided by the team include slipper limpets that could destroy mussel and oyster beds. By contrast, new arrivals such as the American razor clam and Pacific oyster could become the bases of profitable industries for British fishermen.


The humble haddock is being forced polewards by rising ocean temperatures. Photograph: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

The team’s research also stresses that Britons will have to change their ideas about the seafood they eat as favourites will disappear from UK waters. Haddock and cod are being forced polewards as ocean temperatures rise, while flatfish like sole and plaice have nowhere suitable to go. At the same time, cuttlefish and sardines are being caught in rising numbers and are destined to become the fish of the future for Britain.

Native species of mussels, fish or oysters could be displaced. Harbours and boats could be fouled or blocked

The latest report, published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, provides a crystal ball that could highlight which parts of our coastlines will be most vulnerable to climate change triggered by rising atmospheric levels of greenhouse gas emissions produced by cars, factories and power plants. Sea temperatures around Britain have already risen by more than 1.5C in the past 30 years because of these changes, and scientists have warned this trend could continue for much of the rest of the century.

“In a few decades the temperature of our seas is likely to be roughly the same as those found in the waters around Portugal at the turn of the last century – so we can expect to find the kind of marine life that existed there in British seas in the near future,” said marine biologist Professor Stephen Simpson, of Exeter University. “Apart from cuttlefish and sardines – which are already moving into our waters – we can expect fish like red mullet and john dory to be more common. By contrast the haddock is already disappearing from the southern North Sea, while plaice and sole are also becoming less and less prevalent. Fortunately, cod appears to be more resilient.”


The idea that GHGs can make any measurable difference to the temperature of our deep oceans is frankly gibberish.

In fact large scale migrations of fish are nothing new.

As HH Lamb described in his book, “Climate, History and The Modern World”, seas became much colder in Little Ice Age, particularly during the 17thC. As a result, cod left their usual waters around Iceland, the Faroes, and even Shetland and Norway.


Yet during the Middle Ages cod was abundant even off West Greenland, just as now:



In more recent times, the Greenland cod again migrated to warmer seas, as the temperatures plummeted in the 1960s, heading to Iceland, where cod was already struggling. Herring too left Icelandic waters.



All of these movements occurred because of natural climate change, linked to oceanic and other factors. There is no evidence that current changes are any different.

Meanwhile it was the Guardian itself that reported two years ago how North Sea cod stocks are growing rapidly:


North Sea cod stocks are improving rapidly and could be certified as sustainable within five years, according to fresh analysis.

The fish, once one of the most disastrous examples of overfishing, is now closer to being certified as being sustainable as gurnard, a species which consumers have previously been encouraged to eat instead of cod.

In reality, warmer oceans can only be a good thing for the world’s fish. After all, they seem to thrive in the warmest seas. The fact that fish such as cod can now survive further north increases the range of fish stocks generally.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    September 4, 2017 1:31 pm

    They’re not ‘going north’, they’re simply hiding in the extra volume of their natural habitat, created by rising sea level.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    September 4, 2017 1:48 pm

    Not a lot of people recall that this has been discussed here before….

    A little deja vu perspective for all the alarmists..Drinkwater, 2006 wrote: “Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.”

    October, 1922: “The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto un-heard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.” …”With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast of Spitzbergen, all the way from the fry to the veritable great herring. Shoals of smelt were also met with.”

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 5, 2017 10:15 am

      Re-cycling and “up-cycling” the claims is a major feature of the “global warming” ideation.
      “In advertising, the term “effective frequency” is used to describe the number of times a consumer must be exposed to an advertising message before the marketer gets the desired response, whether that be buying a product, or something as simple as remembering a message.”

  3. 1saveenergy permalink
    September 4, 2017 1:59 pm

    I checked the position of Cod And Haddock yesterday,… they havent moved, still in the freezer, 2nd basket from left. (:-))

  4. September 4, 2017 2:05 pm

    If the oceans are warming, then there must be less cloud cover to let the sun’s energy through. Given that the temperature in the North Sea changes by about 10C in a year, I’m surprised these fish can detect any change due to you-know-what.

  5. rwoollaston permalink
    September 4, 2017 2:30 pm

    Maybe the Guardian will migrate North too? I’ve just bought a copy of HH Lamb’s book and am looking forward to a sense of restorative balance as well as reality.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      September 4, 2017 4:05 pm

      Not back to Manchester, surely. That would really be catastrophic!

      Whether for Manchester or the Guardian staff could be open to debate!

    • Dung permalink
      September 4, 2017 5:39 pm

      Nah! The Grauniad is going South and not just for the winter 🙂

  6. tom0mason permalink
    September 4, 2017 5:23 pm

    This old story arises from the dead AGAIN. It’s all BS!
    So with the cod and haddock out of the way maybe the North Sea Blue-fin tuna will return?

    Tuna has been recorded being caught around Britain for at least a century, and they come and go — just like the haddock, cod, mackerel etc — depending on water temperature and food stocks . The cod and haddock most probably have headed North because the curren glut of krill, and such food stocks are particularly high and the predator fish (including cod and haddock) are heading there for an easy feed.
    Trawler-men have many stories of years when they had to sail further North or South because of the changes in sea temperature — changes that sometime last many months, sometimes many years. That is this planet and its continual natural movement of surface fluids (both water and air).

    Blue-fin tuna in Britain? see here —

  7. DMA permalink
    September 4, 2017 8:23 pm

    Finding these fish further north does not necessarily imply movement of the species as it could very well indicate expansion of used territory. Unless they can’t be found in the southern reaches of their habitat we shouldn’t assume finding new populations further north has any implication of warming caused migration.

  8. September 5, 2017 1:15 am

    The most recent State of Nature report for 2016 says the exact opposite.

    It says for 104 UK Marine species studied that climate change from 1970-2013 was a huge net positive. 68% growth compared to 32% reduction.

    You would need to get the data from their supporting tables since this dramatic finding is not emphasised in the report.

    This report was based on a peer reviewed study, “Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK”. (Published March 2016)

    The report was signed off and promoted by these marine organisations (along with about 46 others like WWF etc):

    Marine Biological Association
    Marine Conservation Society
    Marine Ecosystems Research Programme

    Alarmism, but what do you expect…

  9. Athelstan permalink
    September 5, 2017 7:03 am

    Fish those blighters! should be stopped from moving! it’s jolly unfair that “our” fish are moving north and those pesky Mediterranean types are sidling in, typical and the Gemans wouldn’t stand for it. /off sarc

    Meanwhile, out in the real seas, hey it’s a liquid and subject to a lot of dynamic factors water is pushed around [can you believe it?]. Where, fish tend to move where the food is according to wiki Cod is a top predator feeding mainly on Herring and Sprat, in turn Herring feed on phyto and zooplankton…………….. there’s a whole column going on here, so it ain’t just about the Cod is it, granted though the whole food chain is affected by T changes in the marine locality and that’s as far as I go with Oceanography and Marine Niol, there are so many variables to quantify, not surprisingly it, they COD are a specialist subject.

    Warming seas, well yes to that but oceans, seas T gradients can change, what is not clear, well about as clear as the north sea tide returning on a hot day in Scarboro bay. Other than, overfishing and throwing hundreds of thousands of perfectly edible fish back into the briny thanks to the mental perfidy aka the CFP is, is! mankind anything to do with it? imho, attributing MMCO2 warming as a causal factor is bogus, very idle speculation of the dead brain box thinking variety – cue graun’ article.

  10. Europeanonion permalink
    September 5, 2017 8:06 am

    We farm fish in shallow pens and they thrive (apart from the lice). Fishermen are aware of species in freshwater becoming more active and feeding as water warms in the thermocline.

  11. Count Rollo permalink
    September 5, 2017 11:05 am

    We almost went to war with our buddies, the Icelanders because trillions of cod, haddock etc were all up there busily being fish, as ever. Anyone hopping into the sea for a swim will find it just as cold as ever. From a struggling newspaper’s perspective, ‘ a scare a day, keeps the bailiffs away’ -here’s today’s one.

  12. BillD permalink
    September 5, 2017 9:23 pm

    Same changes are occurring on the US East Coast. Colder water species such as cod, haddock and lobster have moved northward, to be replaced by more southern species. In the US these southern species are not “foreign.”

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