Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bad News For Coastal Ocean: Less Fish Out, Means More Nitrogen In

Date:
February 2, 2008
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Commercial fisheries play an unexpected role in the decline of water quality in coastal waters. The study, the first to examine the world's 58 coatal regions, shows how failing to maintain ecosystems in a sustainable manner has wide-ranging consequences. Using data provided by the United Nations, the researchers found that commercial fishing has played an important, yet declining, role in removing man-made nitrogen from coastal waters.

A Canada-U.S. research team has found that commercial fisheries play an unexpected role in the decline of water quality in coastal waters. In a recent issue of Nature Geoscience, Roxane Maranger and Nina Caraco explain that the collapse of the fisheries from decades of over fishing has played a significant role in disturbing the balance between nitrogen entering and leaving costal water systems.

The study, the first to examine the world's 58 coatal regions, shows how failing to maintain ecosystems in a sustainable manner has wide-ranging consequences. Using data provided by the United Nations, Maranger and Caraco found that commercial fishing has played an important, yet declining, role in removing man-made nitrogen from coastal waters.

"Fish accumulate nitrogen as biomass, and when humans move fish from the ocean to the table through commercial fisheries, they are returning part of this terrestrial nitrogen generated by humans back to the land," said Maranger, a biology professor at the Université de Montréal (Canada).

Caraco, an aquatic biogeochemist at the Cary Institue of Ecosystem Studies (Millbrook, New York, U.S.) notes: "While nitrogen is essential to plant and animal life in oceans, human export of nitrogen from land to ocean has resulted in exploding nitrogen levels in coastal waters over the past century. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer that's applied to farmland eventually makes its way into coastal waters via a network of streams and rivers. Fertilizer run-off is a significant source of nitrogen pollution to many coastal regions around the world."

Four decades ago, commercial fishing removed the equivalent of 60 percent of the nitrogen from coastal oceans that entered as fertilizers. Today, this figure has dropped to 20 percent. "From a historical perspective, this is bad news," says Maranger. "Increased nitrogen levels in coastal ocean ecosystems throughout the world have resulted in excessive plant growth, lack of oxygen, severe reductions in water quality and in fish and other animal populations."

In order to manage coastal ecosystems in a sustainable manner, while fully understanding the impact that humans are having on the nitrogen cycle, the scientists recommend the role of commercial fisheries be reexamined.

The principal investigator of this study received support from the Fond québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Bad News For Coastal Ocean: Less Fish Out, Means More Nitrogen In." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128171537.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2008, February 2). Bad News For Coastal Ocean: Less Fish Out, Means More Nitrogen In. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128171537.htm
University of Montreal. "Bad News For Coastal Ocean: Less Fish Out, Means More Nitrogen In." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128171537.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins