EDFish

Selected tag(s): Climate change

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?

Editor’s note: This is the third in a multi-part blog series, Fisheries for the Future, examining the impacts from climate change on global fisheries and the opportunities to address these emerging challenges. Throughout the series, we’ll be investigating how climate change will impact the world’s supply and distribution of fish and what we can do to ensure the most sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.

In New England, as in many other parts of the world that rely on fishing for food and income, there is a growing need to predict and adapt to climate change as it worsens. One of the most important aspects of dealing with climate change is to look ahead and put in place goals, objectives, scientific research and management practices that are responsive to future conditions. As we anticipate a climate-altered future, we will continue to value healthy ecosystems and the benefits derived from fisheries. However, healthy ecosystems and sustainable fisheries of the future may be very different from what we are used to. The ability of the oceans to support thriving ecosystems and fishing communities will depend heavily on actions we take today. Read More »

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What will it take to secure healthy fisheries in the face of climate change?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a multi-part blog series, Fisheries for the Future, examining the impacts from climate change on global fisheries and the opportunities to address these emerging challenges. Throughout the series, we’ll be investigating how climate change will impact the world’s supply and distribution of fish and what we can do to ensure the most sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.

Fisheries are a globally-important source of jobs and income and critically important for the food security and nutrition of some of the most impoverished people on the planet. This is increasingly the case as human populations continue to grow. Managing fisheries well is also an important aspect of ecosystem health, as well-managed fisheries help contribute to vibrant and abundant ecosystems. Climate change is already affecting fish populations and will scramble these systems in ways not fully understood. This poses a risk to fisheries, the people who depend on them for their livelihoods and the continued ecological abundance and diversity that we hold dear. Read More »

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Carbon and the Deep Blue Sea: Why Recovering Fish Stocks Hold the Key to Sequestering Carbon at the Bottom of the Sea

Important progress is underway around the world to emplace sustainability in wild ocean fisheries. The big surprise, however, is that getting fisheries right at the global scale may also make an unexpected and potentially very significant down payment on helping fight global warming.

We have known for some time that fixing fisheries management is the right answer for economic and ecosystem well-being under today’s conditions. That outcome is moving from the  theoretical to the realm of the possible. For example, the past 12 months have seen the profound transformation of fisheries framework laws in Japan and Cuba, and Belize is about to follow suit. Even China has joined the hunt, both for reforming its own domestic fisheries — the biggest in the world — and also in the way the country imagines “environmental civilization” and the future of the world ocean. Read More »

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Will calamari play an important role in future climate-resilient fisheries?

Global reported squid catches (Millions of metric tons, 1950-2015). While squid catches have increased in recent years, year to year changes have also increased. Data accessed from FAO database. Plot by R. Boenish

Besides being the star in calamari appetizers, squid play the crucial roles of both predator and prey in marine ecosystems. Globally, squid can be found in nearly every ocean habitat from seagrass beds, to coral reefs, to the open ocean. Squid fisheries provide livelihoods and high-quality protein to communities, large and small all over the world. And as it turns out, studying squid can teach us valuable lessons about how to build climate-resilient fisheries. A new paper in Fisheries Research will help fishery managers predict where jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) populations might migrate under different scenarios of climate change, and help researchers understand why some species are more resilient than others.

While overall squid catches (all species combined) have increased in recent years, it is unclear what the future will hold in the face of climate change and other pressures. Healthy ecosystems depend on resilience from all links of the food chain. This research, which I contributed to along with a number of leading marine research organizations including Shanghai Ocean University, The University of Washington and The University of Maine, suggests that squid may play a more important role in improving climate resilience in the world’s fisheries than previously thought. Read More »

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China confronts the effects of climate change on fisheries

No nation on Earth is more central to the global seafood system than China. China’s influence on the production, processing, distribution and overall demand for seafood is unparalleled. Indeed, China alone is expected to account for around half of the growth in global seafood consumption over the coming decades.

This growing demand for seafood will require new solutions not only for managing how much fish is caught, but how to adapt as climate change begins to impact China’s ocean ecosystem.  EDF recently convened an international workshop with the China Academy of Fisheries Sciences (CAFS) with the goal of aligning global efforts to identify pressing challenges and solutions to climate change.

As China confronts these impacts, it’s clear that global climate change is a critical stressor that threatens to undermine its hard work on fisheries reforms. China’s government and scientific community recognize this threat, and are beginning to address it. The challenge is not trivial, given that China’s coastline spans 18,000 km, stretching across diverse ecosystems from warm tropical to cool temperate seas.

EDF is working in China not only because of its global importance, but also because we believe the country is in a unique moment for transformative change. China has made ambitious commitments under the 13th Five-Year Plan to improve fisheries management. These include improving the scientific foundation for fisheries management, monitoring fishing activity and catch, enhancing the responsibilities and incentives of fishing fleets and communities and strengthening protection of marine ecosystems. Read More »

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Five reasons for hope on World Fisheries Day 2018

You may not have it on your calendar – but today is World Fisheries Day – a moment to celebrate the incredible bounty that we receive from the sea. It’s also an opportunity to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. As we look back over the past year, the EDF Oceans team has been struck by how much the global oceans community has accomplished. And we’re increasingly optimistic and energized about the future health and resilience of our oceans. Here are five reasons for hope on World Fisheries Day. Read More »

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