COD, herring and haddock may vanish from the west coast of Scotland because of global warming, according to scientists.

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) researchers predict the species could migrate out of the ecosystem by 2100, most likely to colder waters further north.

The findings show cod and herring off Scotland’s west coast are already nearing the edge of their temperature tolerance range.

Lead author Dr Natalia Serpetti, a marine ecologist at SAMS, said: “These results highlight the importance of considering environmental change, as well as fishing quotas, to achieve sustainable fisheries management at an ecosystem level.

“Our results showed that warmer climate could jeopardise sustainable fishery management – rising temperature showed strong negative impact on cold water species such as grey seals, cod, haddock and herring, which all declined by 2100 under the worst-case climate warming scenario.

“Even under the best-case climate change scenario, cod and herring stocks were predicted to collapse off Scotland’s west coast.”

Researchers first tested the impact of current advised fishing quotas, along with predator/prey interactions, within the ecosystem.

Cod, whiting and herring stocks – which historically show declining trends – recovered under sustainable fishery management.

The impact of rising temperatures under different climate change scenarios were then tested while keeping fishing rates consistent with currently advised maximum sustainable yields.

These results found there would be a collapse of cold water species stocks.

Scientists believe these will gradually be replaced by more abundant communities of saithe, hake and whiting over the next few decades.