Rising sea temperatures killing fish off Qatar

Qatar University researchers monitored the seas concluded that sea surface temperature was “relatively high”, was cited as the primary cause of fish deaths in the area.
Rising sea temperatures killing fish off Qatar
(Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Mon 31 Aug 2015 11:55 AM

At least 18 types of fish have died in Qatar waters this summer, with rising water temperatures thought to be the cause.

Vast quantities of dead fish have washed up on beaches, raising concerns for the fishing trade, local media have reported.

Among the affected species are Sahri, Jesh, Safi and Rabib, according to Gulf Times.

It said researchers from Qatar University, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, monitored the seas off Qatar and concluded that sea surface temperature was “relatively high”, ranging between 35C and 36C.

This was cited as the primary cause of fish deaths in the area.

Other factors responsible for the destruction of fish stocks were lower levels of oxygen in the water, strong sea currents and high wind.

In particular, dissolved oxygen levels were low, researchers said, ranging between 2.99 and 3.86 milligram per litre.

This is not the first year that raised sea temperatures have caused large-scale destruction of fish stocks in the Gulf, The Peninsula added. The phenomenon was first spotted by researchers in 1996 and recurs either every year or every two years.

Most deaths take place in the last week of August or first week of September. And fish that have limited movement and swim closer to the sea bed are more vulnerable to changes in water temperature, Qatar University’s biology professor Dr Ibrahim Al Maslamani reportedly told Gulf Times.

Mohamed Saeed Al Mohannadi, director of the Fisheries Department at Qatar’s Ministry of Environment, was part of the research team and has presented the findings to the government.

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