"This study provides an early glimpse of how climate change might impact the economics of fishing," says Sam Herrick, a NOAA scientist and co-author. "We must continue to study how climate change, combined with other factors, will affect marine ecosystems and the productivity of fishery resources."
Biologically, maintaining more abundant populations can help increase fish's capacity to adapt to environmental change. Curbing overfishing is crucial to making marine systems more robust and ready for changes that are already underway.
"This study highlights the potential negative impacts of climate change on the profitability of fisheries," said Vicky Lam, UBC graduate student and co-author. "The next generation of scientists must put more effort on exploring ways to minimize the impacts of climate change."
Fish stocks will also be more robust to climate change if the combined stresses from overfishing, habitat degradation, pollution runoff, land-use transformation, competing aquatic resource uses and other anthropogenic factors are minimized
"We have to remember that the effect of climate change on the marine environment will occur alongside the impacts on land," says Daniel Pauly, a UBC fisheries biologist and co-author. "It will not be easy to divert resources from one sector to help another sector. This is why a strong governance system is needed to temper the losses on the sectors that are worst hit."
"Governments must be anticipatory, rather than reactive," says Sumaila. "We all need to think more of the future while we act now."
|Contact: Rashid Sumaila |
University of British Columbia