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Climate Change, Ocean Acidification Threaten Food Security of Billions

September 25, 2012

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Climate change and ocean acidification are threatening food security for billions of people who depend on fish and seafood for all or part of their diets, according to a report released Monday from ocean conservation group Oceana.

These two factors are pushing fish into colder waters and destroying habitats.  But “most small-scale fishermen simply aren’t capable of following fish into distant waters as climate change and ocean acidification wreak havoc on coastal resources,” said Matthew Huelsenbeck, report author and marine scientist at Oceana.

Most of the nations topping the lists are those that have been least responsible for rising CO2 levels, stated Huelsenbeck, stressing that “it will be the poorest artisanal fishermen that will be hit hardest.”

The loss of the seafood will have public health consequences on local populations as well.

Higher temperatures in oceans can lead to Vibrio cholerae in shellfish, which leads to the disease cholera in humans, as well as Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a leading cause of seafood- associated gastroenteritis in the U.S., the reports notes.

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Another story about climate change affecting food supply:

Report warns of global food insecurity as climate change destroys fisheries

By Suzanne Goldenberg,

The Persian Gulf, Libya, and Pakistan are at high risk of food insecurity in coming decades because climate change and ocean acidification are destroying fisheries, according to a report released on Monday.

The report from the campaign group Oceana warns of growing food insecurity, especially for poorer people, from the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, Eritrea, Guyana, Indonesia, Kuwait and Singapore.

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