The Regional Impacts of Climate Change

Other reports in this collection Adaptation options for fisheries resources

Adaptation to existing climate variability may demonstrate ways to deal with climate change. The following adaptation options are suggested for the fisheries industry (IPCC 1996, WG II, Section 16.3.1):

  • Modify and strengthen fisheries management policies and institutions and associated fish population and catch-monitoring activities.
  • Preserve and restore wetlands, estuaries, floodplains, and bottomlands-essential habitats for most fisheries.
  • Cooperate more closely with forestry, water, and other resource managers because of the close interaction between land cover and maintenance of adequate fishery habitat. The adequacy of management practices in all sectors affecting fisheries (e.g., water resources, coastal management) needs to be examined to ensure that proper responses are made as climate changes.
  • Promote fisheries conservation and environmental education among fishermen.
  • In cases of species collapse and obvious ecosystem disequilibrium, restock with ecologically sound species and strains as habitat changes; great care is needed to avoid ecological damage.
  • Develop aquaculture and tourism to make coastal communities better able to deal with uncertainties of climate change.

To reduce the possibility of fishery disruption, strict biological monitoring should be implemented, and properly enforced fishing controls must be instituted. These strategies would help keep stock-replacement levels stable in the face of physical stress caused by climate change and other environmental phenomena while meeting the growing demand for fish and fishery products by an ever-increasing population.

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