Acidic oceans cause fish to fret: study

December 11, 2013 7:23 PM

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EDMONTON – A study suggests that fish are fretting about at least one of the effects of climate change.

A neuroscientist at Edmonton’s MacEwan University has found that ocean rockfish act worried as the water they swim in becomes more acidic.

Ocean acidification is one effect of carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere, the main cause of climate change.

Trevor Hamilton says rockfish exhibited classic signs of fish anxiety when the acidity of their water was increased, huddling in parts of their tank that were painted black.

Hamilton says it’s one of the first studies to look at the effect of acidification on the behaviour of ocean fish.

He says the findings could suggest how fish behaviour will change as the seas grow more acid, with important consequences for other ocean life and the people that depend on it.


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