Virginia fisheries are among the few industries in the US that have directly suffered the negative impact of the climate change. While the climate change has adversely affected the population, industries, natural resources, it has also negatively impacted different sea-based industries.
Former President George Washington, who in his pastime used to fish at the Potomac River, once mentioned about the abundance of different kinds of fishes in the river. But, that abundance has now been greatly reduced. Also, the types of fishes found in the river have changed from Shad, Herring, Bass, Carp, Perch, Sturgeon to shrimps.
According to the Patrick Geer, deputy chief of fisheries management for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, “It’s hard to manage fisheries to begin with, [and] in the past we’ve always considered the climate stable. But now that theory of a stable climate and environment has been taken out.”
While the politicians have varied opinions on the grave issue of climate change, the Republican lawmakers have moved out of the Democrats controlled senate to avoid voting on policy involving climate change. Such decisions by the lawmakers, who have been chosen as representatives, lead people to believe that our leaders are not putting in proper efforts to resolve such serious issues.
The Virginia fisheries, which acts as an integral economic support to the state, has been adversely affected due to rise in the temperature of the water bodies. According to the evaluations by the Environmental Protection Agency, a rise of average 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit in the surface of the ocean has been recorded every decade since the starting of the 20th century.
While marine industries have been largely affected due to the absence of the fishes, it is also witnessed a depreciation in the quantity of eelgrass, used by the fishes, shellfish and blue crabs for both hiding and feeding.
Even though factors like water salinity, available habitat and food sources can also massively impact the marine industries, the Virginia fisheries industry needs to combat the climate change to overcome the limitations of lesser marine species in its water.