Yukon Weekly

Climate change may have an impact on restaurant menus in British Columbia

Menus in B.C. restaurants may be affected by climate change.

Key Takeaways:

  • As a result of climate change, Vancouver seafood lovers may soon see more squid and fewer sockeye salmon on menus.
  • Humboldt squid, for example, is becoming more common in local eateries as the species has expanded further north due to warming temperatures.
  • The most important distinctions between meals from 1981 to 1996 and menus from 2019 to 2021 were discovered by researchers.

Because of climate change, Vancouver seafood enthusiasts may see more squid and less sockeye salmon on menus in the near future.

A new study published in Environmental Biology of Fishes by the University of British Columbia looked at 362 local restaurant menus spanning four time periods between 1880 and 2021.

In a news release, principal author Dr. William Cheung, professor and head of the UBC Institute for the Oceans as well as Fisheries, said, “We set out to find if rising waters due to climate change are already impacting what seafood restaurants serve on their menus.”

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“While our findings can not prove cause and effect, they suggest that the oceans near Vancouver warmed during the analyzed periods, allowing fish species that require warmer waters to thrive. It’s likely that because they were more readily accessible for sale, local seafood restaurants offered more of them.”

Since the species has spread further north due to warming temperatures, Humboldt squid, for example, is becoming more prevalent in local restaurants. Warmer water is also projected to increase sardine abundance.

Meanwhile, studies claim that sockeye salmon isn’t faring well in British Columbia, implying that it will become scarce shortly.

Menus in B.C. restaurants may be affected by climate change.
Menus in B.C. restaurants may be affected by climate change. Image from iHeartRadio

Researchers found the most significant differences between menus from 1981 to 1996 and menus from 2019 to 2021.

“That’s when a lot of the greater temperature changes happened, and it’s also when some of those changes started to have bigger and more evident consequences on the fish stocks,” Cheung noted.

“Climate change is already hurting everyone, not only fisherman who capture fish, but also those who consume fish in restaurants.”

Source: CTV News

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