Dr Ian Napier, of the NAFC (North Atlantic Fisheries College), said today: “The immediate cause of the seabird breeding failures is generally believed to be a shortage of food. They have trouble finding sand eels to feed their chicks. Probably what is happening is that there is some change in the ocean which is reducing the availability of food and also increasing warm water, but we don’t really know the details of what the cause is.” (More details of report).
The inference in this quote is that global warming is to blame for the recent terrible times our seabirds have had breeding. But may I put it to Dr Ian Napier that ‘the change’ that is happening in the ocean is that commercial fishermen are removing too many food fish from the ocean that these birds need to feed their young.
It is, of course, no coincidence that the NAFC just happen to release this report at the beginning of the seabird breeding season, so when the headlines start reporting, for yet another year, that our seabird chicks are starving to death, the finger of blame will point towards climate change and not the real culprit, which is overfishing, and the greed and stupidity of our fishing industries.