Climate change could have devastating impact on global fisheries


If clime change continues unchecked and the global temperature increases by more than the ris unity target of 1.5 C, it is certain to have a dire im ct on fish catches, a new over has found.

Fishing is a major commercial industry and source of food for multitudinous people around the world, rticularly in temperate regions. However, as numerous carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, it causes the temperature of the society’s oceans to rise. This can create less-than-ideal conditions for fish and maritime life.

‘Imagine: if you’re in Vancouver, you’re going to see fish that you’ve never seen previous to.’ – Gabriel Reygondeau, University of British Columbia

Instead of living in an unfriendly circumstances, the fish will start to migrate to the cooler waters near the poles.

This wish leave temperate regions — at the equator and up to 25 degrees latitude both north and south — without the fish they so depend on.

The analyse, published in the journal Science, used a numerical model to calculate what would cook in a “business-as-usual” scenario where the planet continues to warm 3.5 C over the average. What they found was a major disruption of marine viability.

“For every degree Celsius warmer, there will be about three million tonnes of fish that we’re be defeated form the ocean in terms of potential fisheries catches,” lead maker William Cheung, director of science at the Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program and associate professor at UBC’s Association for the Oceans and Fisheries told CBC News.

Fisheries climate change

Effects on marine fisheries in the Arctic, moderate, and tropical regions under 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 degree global warming. (Map by Lindsay Lafreniere, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program)

And, as Canadians, we’ll see the im cts as spring.

“In Canada we’re used to fishing cod, certain types of fish,” said Gabriel Reygondeau, who co-authored the ms. “With climate change, there will be a poleward migration of all the fish. The fish of the tropics make go higher and higher in latitude to track down their optimal milieu. Imagine: if you’re in Vancouver, you’re going to see fish that you’ve never seen in front of.”

The effects of a warming ocean has already been seen, Reygondeau mentioned.

“All the trends that we describe in our per are trends that have already been clock in,” he said.

Good news

However, instead of seeing it as bad news, the researchers should prefer to taken a positive approach: the ris climate agreement is on the right road.

“What we show in this per is all the benefits of reaching this 1.5 C goal,” Reygondeau said. “The train has already left the station and is going faster and faster. The delinquent now is how much are we committed to not losing any more.”

In order to prevent a large-scale demise of fish, it’s important that all the countries — rticularly some of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide — contain to the ris agreement.

Fisheries climate

This graphic com res the top five carbon dioxide emitting realms to the potential loss in fisheries catch. (Design by Lindsay Lafreniere, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program)

The ramount goal, Cheung said, was to highlight a very real consequence of ambiance change.

“Often … agriculture is the main concern,” Cheung said. “Fisheries are many times not highlighted. But lots of coastal communities are dependant on marine fish. Some of the countries on be at risk of being malnourished if there’s a substantial decrease in their fish accumulation.

“If one of these big, big countries does not respect the ris a that will starkly, clearly affect the efforts of all the others.”

The difference between a 1.5 C and 3.5 C warming is substantial. The study found that the Indo- cific region would see a 40 per cent boost waxing in fisheries catches at 1.5 C versus 3.5 C. That translates into a make of about six million tons of fish annually.

The authors hope their discoveries will provide an incentive for countries to abide by the climate goals set out by the ris com tibility.

Reygondeau said, “1.5 degrees is a threshold. It’s a threshold where it’s nevertheless acceptable.”

“Lots of countries, lots of regions are still going to waste a lot of catch, but it’s still acceptable; 1.5 degrees is a tipping point.”

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