Fisheries and aquaculture contribute substantially to the coastal economies of the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, and climate change is likely to have significant impacts.

Documented effects on fisheries include both losses where availability of traditional stocks are reduced, and new opportunities where abundances increase or new, incoming species arrive. Distribution shifts and changes in spawning or migration patterns may affect distances to be travelled from port by fishermen, as well as having implications for quota allocation or effectiveness of spatial closures to protect stocks.

Such changes create challenges for the management of UK and Ireland fish stocks which are primarily regulated through the European Union Common Fisheries Policy, as illustrated by the recent “mackerel war”. Main perceived threats to aquaculture include climatic effects on pests and pathogens likely to increase in occurrence, and thermal stress on species that are cultivated, although warmer waters may also allow new species to be cultured for the first time.

Pinnegar JK, Buckley P, Engelhard GH. Impacts of Climate Change in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries and Aquaculture. 2017 Sep 18:381-413.