The Australian Greens said today that new research linking the increased presence of C02 in our oceans to changes in the behaviour of fish species shows the widespread threat of climate change to the marine environment, sustainable industries and food security.
"Reports today on the findings of a Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University and the Georgia Institute of Technology study underscores the significant stresses that oceans are experiencing as a result of climate change," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.
"The notion that increasing exposure to C02 has the potential to change the behaviour of marine life shows how important it is for us to reduce carbon pollution.
"Changes in behaviour, including a less-fearful reaction to predators can distort the food chain and have a flow-on effect across the marine environment.
"We know that oceans absorb the majority of carbon pollution. Carbon pollution and climate change is linked to increased acidification, ocean warming and changes to ocean currents. On top of this, oceans are coming under increased pressure from overfishing and resource development.
"A strong network of marine protected areas and evidence-based management plans are a fundamental requirement for protecting fish stocks and ensuring strong biodiversity in the years to come. This is crucial for protecting sustainable tourism, recreation and fishing industries. Obviously we must also take action to reduce pollution from greenhouse gasses and address the threats of climate change.
"Tony Abbott and his government are failing on both of these counts, by cancelling the management plans for our network of marine parks and taking backwards step after backwards step on the issue of climate change.
"By working to scrap a price on carbon and investments in renewable energy, Tony Abbott is putting our oceans under even more pressure," Senator Siewert concluded.