Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fisheries, aquaculture face multiple risks from climate change

The Daily Independent (Lagos): A new report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, predicts "an ocean of change" for fishers and fish farmers. It warned that urgent adaptation measures are required in response to opportunities and threats to food and livelihood provision due to climatic variations.

The study, 'Climate change implications for fisheries and aquaculture', is one of the most comprehensive surveys to date of existing scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture. Covering some 500 scientific papers, the picture the FAO review paints is one of an already-vulnerable sector facing widespread and often profound changes.

The report includes contributions from experts from around the world, including Dr Tim Daw and Prof Katrina Brown of the School of International Development and Prof Neil Adger of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA. Other contributors come from the World Fish Center, Globec, Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Dr. Daw and Profs. Adger and Brown co-authored the chapter 'Climate change and capture fisheries: potential impacts, adaptation and mitigation', which looks at the social vulnerability of fisherfolk to climate change. "Marine and freshwater ecosystems will be profoundly affected by processes like ocean acidification, coral bleaching and altered river flows with obvious impacts on fisherfolk, but it is not just about what happens to the fish," said Daw. "Fishing communities are vulnerable to sea level rise and their livelihoods are threatened by storms and extreme weather. Meanwhile, the social and economic context of fisheries will be disrupted by impacts on security, migration, transport and markets."…

Fishing boats on the Ghana coast, shot by hiyori13, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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