Nav: Home

For the fisheries of the future, some species are in hot water

February 28, 2019

Some fisheries may falter while others could become more productive as the world's waters continue to warm, according to a new study, which looks to the productivity of fisheries in the past to help predict the impact of climate change on future fisheries. While the study reveals a reduction in global fish populations over the past 80 years, the results could prove crucial for the development of successful management strategies going forward, through careful accounting for changing productivity in warmer oceans, the authors say. The planet's oceans have become a globally important source of food and economic support for rapidly growing populations. However, poorly managed fisheries and decades of intense overfishing have placed many species of fish under extreme pressure. What's more, many of these fish stocks are also being impacted by continued ocean warming due to global climate change, although the overall effect on fisheries remains largely unknown. To address this question, Christopher Free and colleagues used temperature-specific models to "hindcast" temperature-driven changes on fisheries productivity from 1930-2010. Free et al. evaluated 235 populations of 124 marine species from oceans around the world, which represented roughly 33% of the reported global catch during this time. While the results revealed a decline in global fisheries' productivity overall - with losses in some regions as high as 35% - the authors found that changes in temperature affected some species more than others. While most populations will experience a negative impact, some, like black sea bass in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. coast, are predicted to respond positively. Furthermore, the results add to results that show that historical overfishing can amplify the negative effects of climate change. While Free et al.'s study does not account for other climate-driven environmental stressors, such as ocean acidification, which can also lead to declines in marine populations, Éva Pláganyi writes in a related Perspective: "Free et al.'s study represents an important advance on earlier species-distribution-based assessments," by providing projections that are critical to the success of future planning and adaptation strategies.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Climate Change Articles:

A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.
Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).
Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.
Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.
Could climate change cause infertility?
A number of plant and animal species could find it increasingly difficult to reproduce if climate change worsens and global temperatures become more extreme -- a stark warning highlighted by new scientific research.
Predicting climate change
Thomas Crowther, ETH Zurich identifies long-disappeared forests available for restoration across the world.
Historical climate important for soil responses to future climate change
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam, examined how 18 years of drought affect the billions of vital bacteria that are hidden in the soil beneath our feet.
Can forests save us from climate change?
Additional climate benefits through sustainable forest management will be modest and local rather than global.
From crystals to climate: 'Gold standard' timeline links flood basalts to climate change
Princeton geologists used tiny zircon crystals found in volcanic ash to rewrite the timeline for the eruptions of the Columbia River flood basalts, a series of massive lava flows that coincided with an ancient global warming period 16 million years ago.
Think pink for a better view of climate change
A new study says pink noise may be the key to separating out natural climate variability from climate change that is influenced by human activity.
More Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#544 Prosperity Without Growth
The societies we live in are organised around growth, objects, and driving forward a constantly expanding economy as benchmarks of success and prosperity. But this growing consumption at all costs is at odds with our understanding of what our planet can support. How do we lower the environmental impact of economic activity? How do we redefine success and prosperity separate from GDP, which politicians and governments have focused on for decades? We speak with ecological economist Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Propserity, and author of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab