Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050 due to climate change, scientists have warned.

More fish will be driven into Arctic and Antarctic waters, according to experts who examined the impact of the seas warming up on fish stocks.

In the worst-case scenario, where the Earth's oceans warm by three degrees Celsius (5.4F) by 2100, fish could move away from their current habitats at a rate of 26 kilometres per decade.

The best-case scenario, where the Earth warms by one degree Celsius (1.8F) - fish would move 15 kilometres every decade, researchers at The University of British Columbia (UBC) said.

They added that this is consistent with changes in the last few decades.

The UBC study also identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction.

Using the same climate change scenarios as the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, researchers projected a large-scale shift of marine fish and invertebrates.

Scientists used modelling to predict how 802 commercially important species of fish and invertebrates react to warming water temperatures, other changing ocean properties and new habitats opening up at the poles.

Associate Professor at the UBC Fisheries Centre and co-author of the study William Cheung said: "The tropics will be the overall losers.

"This area has a high dependence on fish for food, diet and nutrition.

"We'll see a loss of fish populations that are important to the fisheries and communities in these regions."

Miranda Jones, a UBC Nereus Fellow and lead author of the study, said the movement could generate new opportunities for fisheries in the Arctic.

But she added: "On the other hand it means it could disrupt the species that live there now and increase competition for resources."

The findings are published in ICES Journal of Marine Science.