Climate change is causing fishery problems, but we can solve them

By Eric Schwaab, Rod Fujita and Jacqui Vogel

Climate change is already transforming the distribution and abundance of fish stocks around the world. Warming temperatures, lower pH levels and many other factors are causing many fish species to shift to better habitats and others to shrink in abundance. This is problematic for the communities that rely on these stocks, especially when the shifts cross jurisdictional boundaries, such as those between fishery management zones or national exclusive economic zones, known as EEZs.

Climate-induced stock shifts are causing more overfishing, illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, discarding, higher fuel use, injustice and even armed conflict. Unless fishery management and fisheries become more adaptive and resilient to climate change, these problems will only worsen, but it’s not too late for solutions like flexible allocation systems, dynamic spatial management, ocean observing systems and international collaboration. Read More »

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Women fishers are vital to the livelihoods, food security, health and culture of billions worldwide

By Karly Kelso, Director of Climate Resilient Food Systems at EDF, and Michelle Tigchelaar, Research Scientist at Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

Three billion people depend on our oceans, rivers and lakes for nutritious blue foods. By 2050, our global population is expected to reach 10 billion and global demand for blue foods is expected to roughly double. Blue foods, including fish, shellfish and seaweeds, provide vital nutrients like protein, zinc, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids — nutrients important for all sexes and ages but especially for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. We must ensure that blue food systems are environmentally sustainable in a changing climate, that they can continue to nourish our global population, and that they contribute to thriving coastal communities and gender equality. Read More »

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Indonesia-Philippines learning exchange: International collaboration for fisheries management

Effective fisheries management is critical to food security, livelihoods for millions of people and vibrant marine life and biodiversity. By empowering communities to sustainably manage marine resources, we can build resilience to climate change, secure healthy oceans and better protect communities that are vulnerable to extreme weather events. This is especially true in the Philippines, where science-based and participatory fisheries management is still in its infancy. Read More »

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Something ‘fishy’ is happening in Congress

If you follow the goings-on of the U.S. Congress, you know that the final months of the year have become a sprint to the finish line marked by bursts of legislative energy and must-pass bills. This year is even more energetic than most. Read More »

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Collaborative research sheds light on creating climate-resilient multispecies fisheries

Worldwide, there is considerable interest in developing fishery management options that balance social, economic and ecological goals for multispecies fisheries. Ideally, fisheries management should strive not only to produce good yields from single stocks, but also to avoid serial depletion and prevent adverse impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems — a difficult, but achievable task. Read More »

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The Silver Anniversary of Sustainable Fisheries

Unsustainable fishing remains among the planet’s most serious and elusive environmental challenges. When it comes to the ocean, scientists agree that while reducing and mitigating climate risks is the biggest long-term threat, getting fishing intensity right is the biggest near-term need. Read More »

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