Warmer Seas Expected to Give the UK's National Dish a More Continental Flavour

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

A scientist whose surname rhymes with vinegar says he expects climate change to affect the UK’s national dish (well, one of them anyway) -- fish and chips.

According to Dr John Pinnegar of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), warm-water species such as squid, sardines and mackerel are now thriving in the North Sea, while cod appear to be heading north towards Norway. Bloody foreigners chasing our hard-working local fish away.

Cefas, which has been keeping tabs on the North Sea’s fish populations for over 100 years, says it found squid at 60% of its 76 survey stations in 2016, compared with 20% in 1984. Its data suggests that the temperature of seawater around the UK will continue to rise too.

Read More: Why Do We Love Fish and Chips? A Brief History of Britain's National Dish

“Our models for 2025 and beyond suggest that seawater temperature may continue to rise in the future,” said Pinnegar. “As a result, UK waters will become more hospitable for some species and less suitable for others, with the overall result that most commercial species will move northwards.

“UK consumers enjoy eating quite a limited range of seafood, but in the long term we will need to adapt our diets. In 2025 and beyond, we may need to replace cod and other old favourites with warm-water species such as squid, mackerel, sardine and red mullet.”

On the one hand, bring all of the calamari, mackerel, anchovies and sardines on immediately. On the other hand, climate change bad. [Guardian]

Image: Pengrin via Flickr