Fisheries

Jul 19, 2017 | CERES publications

KEY HEADLINES

  • Since 2006, the evidence base with regard to understanding climate change impacts on the UK shing industry has advanced substantially, although many of the key themes covered in 2006 remain highly relevant today (e.g. recruitment variability, shi s in distribution, newly emerging sheries).
  • A particular focus in recent years has been the spread of mackerel into Icelandic and Faroese waters, with con- sequences for sheries quota allocation and governance. Changes in mackerel distribution have been linked to several possible factors, including warmer seas, changes in food availability and a density-dependent expansion of the stock. e di erent mechanisms are not necessarily mutually exclusive and may have acted synergistically.
  • In the North Sea, where an important summer trawl shery targeting squid has developed, squid numbers have increased dramatically over the past 35-years. Signi cant positive relationships were found between this increase in squid abundance and climate variables such as sea surface temperature.
  • Over the past few years, many hundreds of papers have been published focusing on the impacts of ocean acidi – cation, however, there is still a lack of conclusive evidence as to possible consequences for commercial sheries. A recent economics study for Europe as a whole suggests annual economic losses by 2100 in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man could amount to 97.1, 1.0 and 12.7 million US$, respectively, under a worst-case scenario.
  • e winter of 2013/14 was identi ed as one of the stormiest (in terms of wind speeds, wave heights, etc.) of the past 66 years. e UK shing industry was severely disrupted, with many vessels tied up in port for at least ve months. Understanding of how storminess in the UK will be impacted by future climate change remains very limited.
  • European seabass had been held up as a ‘poster child’ of marine climate change in the UK. Evidence suggests that populations did expand dramatically in the early 2000s, however in recent years shing mortality has reached unsustainable levels and advance of this species has been severely curtailed.
  • Changes in sh distribution patterns have featured in all previous MCCIP report cards. Many additional UK studies have been conducted over the past 10 years, using scienti c survey data and information from commer- cial catch-per-unit-e ort, that have con rmed the initial ndings.
  • For many years it has been argued that cod might not be able to persist around the UK in the future, if seawater temperatures continue to rise. Despite dramatic and deliberate reductions in shing mortality, cod stocks have not ‘recovered as quickly as expected, largely as a result of continued poor recruitment related to prevailing cli- matic conditions. Events of the past 10 years have followed trajectories predicted by modelling studies.

Pinnegar JK, Garrett A, Simpson SD, Engelhard GH and van der Kooija J (2017) 

MCCIP Science Review  DOI 10.14465/2017.arc10.007-fis

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