EDFish

Selected tag(s): climate-resilient fisheries

How can building and strengthening international institutions help achieve climate resilient fisheries?

Editor’s note: This is the fourth 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.

History is written in no small part through the conflicts over shared resources between neighboring countries, as each party tries to maintain its share of the pie. But in the ocean, these issues tend to be exacerbated. One of the key ocean resources is fish, which are out of sight and mobile, swimming long distances to find optimal breeding or feeding grounds. Now, with rapidly warming ocean waters due to climate change, the stakes are even higher as fish shift out of areas where they’ve traditionally been found, often crossing international boundaries. Read More »

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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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A multinational plan for climate resilient fisheries in the Humboldt Current

By Erica Cunningham and Merrick Burden

Climate impacts will be acutely felt by the millions of people living in fishing communities around the globe, and those in the Humboldt Current region of South America face immediate and difficult challenges. The Humboldt Current is one of the world’s largest and most productive marine ecosystems and spans most of the Pacific coast of South America, from Ecuador all the way to the tip of Chile. It also accounts for between 6% and 20% of the world’s total marine fish catch, depending on the year. Fish products from the Humboldt Current enter global supply chains and help to feed humans and animals as well as contribute to pharmaceutical products. Given the huge impact Humboldt Current fisheries have on the region and the world, it is a priority to ensure they become resilient to the effects of climate change. That’s why Environmental Defense Fund is working with national science and management agencies in the region on a multinational plan to help ensure a brighter future. 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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