Blue Marlin Habitat May Be In Danger

by Bridget on September 25, 2012

Blue marlin fishing is a worldwide favorite recreational activity. Blue marlins are abundant in the oceans and their high energy leads to quite an experience when attempting to catch one. However fishing regulations could changer due to a report that was written in 2011 explaining that there are ocean dead zones that have had an impact on oceanic habitats. This could have an impact on blue marlin fishing in these areas as well as any other Panama fishing trips or fishing charters.

Marlin Habitat

Marlins prefer areas with more oxygen; this is why they prefer deeper subtropic waters. However, if these waters are threatened by low dissolved oxygen it can lead to a decline in the areas that blue marlin will inhabit. Unfortunately these areas will also push the marlin to shallower waters with more oxygen, leading them to be fished more vigorously.

Climate Changes

These dead zones are caused by climate change; these zones are leading to a decline in the habitat in the Atlantic Ocean for marlins, billfish, and tunas. They will then move to surface waters where they are more vulnerable to fishing. Dead zones are refered to as areas within the ocean where the oxygen levels are so low that creatures cannot survive over a long period of time.

Research

Many blue marlins were tagged as they are one of the most valuable recreational fish species on the planet. By using satellite decides the movements of these marlins were tracked. Researchers were then able to compare this information on fish movement with detailed oceanographic information. This then showed the zones with low dissolved Oxygen.

Blue Marlin

These dead zones directly affect the blue marlin due to the fact that they need larger amounts of dissolved oxygen. Marlins along with other billfish are considered high energy fish. By comparing the movement of the marlins with the location of low oxygen areas the researches were able to determine that the blue marlins would go deeper when the dissolved oxygen levels were higher and they would in turn remain in more shallow surface waters when the low dissolved oxygen was encroaching up on their habitat.

Regulations

Scientists and researchers are concerned that the regulations are not taking these dead zones into account and in turn overfishing is occurring which could result in the possible decline of marlin and other billfish populations. This research is very important when it comes to regulating not only fishing but also in terms of regulating fishing environments. Although the depleted levels of oxygen are not a direct cause of pollution or human interaction, perhaps there will be ways in which scientists and researchers can help. There may also be species that adapt to live in lower levels of oxygen.

Blue marlin fishing is one of the top recreational activities worldwide. With an abundant population in a variety of areas there are fishing excursions all over from New Zealand to Panama fishing trips. However in the future regulations will have to change to prevent over fishing from occurring as in the future blue marlin and other billed fish will prefer the surface waters which will in turn make them more vulnerable to sport-fishing.

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