Climate change and fisheries

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**Impact of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture:**
– Rising ocean temperatures and acidification due to greenhouse gases affect marine ecosystems.
– Ocean acidification hinders shell formation in marine organisms, impacting fish production.
– Climate change displaces fish populations like skipjack tuna and affects over-fished species such as Atlantic cod.
– Global fish catch is expected to decline by 6% by 2100, impacting fish availability and trade.
– Climate change is projected to decrease global fish biomass by up to 30% by 2100, affecting food security and sustainability.

**Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Fishing Sector:**
– Fishing vessels contributed 0.5% of global CO2 emissions in 2012.
– Aquaculture industry emitted 385 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2010.
– Options exist to reduce fuel use and emissions in the fishing sector.
– Fishing industry is a small contributor to overall greenhouse gas emissions.
– Aquaculture emissions equate to about 7% of agriculture emissions.

**Geographical and Economic Consequences of Climate Change on Fisheries:**
– Climate change modifies fish distributions, impacting fish availability and trade.
– Coastal communities are heavily impacted by sea-level rise, affecting the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture.
– Floods, diseases, and harmful algal blooms threaten aquaculture productivity.
– Significant changes are expected in fish availability and trade, with shifts in fish populations impacting food security.
– Climate change is predicted to decrease marine and terrestrial production in coastal countries.

**Adaptation Strategies and Sustainable Practices:**
– International agencies provide programs to help countries and communities adapt to global warming.
– Importance of reducing overcapacity in fishing fleets and rebuilding fish stocks for resilience and economic benefits.
– Investment in sustainable aquaculture and algal biofuels as adaptation strategies.
– Restoration of mangrove forests generates both mitigation and adaptation benefits.
– Sustainable fishing practices are crucial for increasing ocean resilience to climate change.

**Impact on Fishing Communities and Policy Recommendations:**
– Vulnerability of coastal and fishing populations to climate change impacts.
– Challenges faced by fishing communities due to sea-level rise, flooding, and extreme weather events.
– Efforts to address food security in regions threatened by climate change.
– Analysis of vulnerability and adaptability of fisherfolk living in poverty due to climate change effects.
– Policies aim to sustain livelihoods and fisheries by building adaptive capacity to climate change.

Fisheries are affected by climate change in many ways: marine aquatic ecosystems are being affected by rising ocean temperatures, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation, while freshwater ecosystems are being impacted by changes in water temperature, water flow, and fish habitat loss. These effects vary in the context of each fishery. Climate change is modifying fish distributions and the productivity of marine and freshwater species. Climate change is expected to lead to significant changes in the availability and trade of fish products. The geopolitical and economic consequences will be significant, especially for the countries most dependent on the sector. The biggest decreases in maximum catch potential can be expected in the tropics, mostly in the South Pacific regions.

Fishing with a lift net in Bangladesh. Coastal fishing communities in Bangladesh are vulnerable to flooding from sea-level rises.

The impacts of climate change on ocean systems has impacts on the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture, on the livelihoods of the communities that depend on fisheries, and on the ability of the oceans to capture and store carbon (biological pump). The effect of sea level rise means that coastal fishing communities are significantly impacted by climate change, while changing rainfall patterns and water use impact on inland freshwater fisheries and aquaculture. Increased risks of floods, diseases, parasites and harmful algal blooms are climate change impacts on aquaculture which can lead to losses of production and infrastructure.

It is projected that "climate change decreases the modelled global fish community biomass by as much as 30% by 2100".

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