Impacts of climate change on fisheries
John K. Pinnegar, William W.L. Cheung, Miranda Jones, Gorka Merino, Bill Turrell and David Reid
Pinnegar, J.K., Cheung, W.W.L., Jones, M., Merino, G., Turrell, B. and Reid, D. (2013) Impacts of climate change on fisheries. MCCIP Science Review 2013, 302-317, doi:10.14465/2013.arc32.302-317
Download full report:
What is already happening?
Both commercial and recreational fishermen have responded to new opportunities in recent years, as warm-water species have moved in and their exploitation has become viable for the first time. Examples include boarfish, triggerfish, squid and seabass.
Boarfish landings from the Celtic Sea have grown rapidly from less than 120 t in 2001, to more than 139 000 t in 2010. Ireland has successfully negotiated for ⅔ of the EU boarfish quota.
Strong relationships have been found to exist between ‘year-class strength’ (the number of juvenile fish) and various climatic indices.
The timing of spawning in sole has shifted earlier at a rate of 1.5 weeks per decade since 1970.
What could happen?
Considerable progress has been made since 2010/11 with regard to making future projections for both fish and fisheries. These advancements have followed the application of complex ecosystem or fish distribution models.
By the 2090s horse mackerel and anchovy are expected to show increased probability of occurrence in northern British waters, pollack, haddock, and saithe will show a decrease in southern waters.
Ocean acidification may have direct and indirect impacts on the recruitment, growth and survival of exploited species. However, there is little consensus about implications for commercial fisheries. Opinions range from wholesale degradation of marine ecosystems to negligible impacts with minimal economic consequences.