The Economics of Adapting Fisheries to Climate Change
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The Economics of Adapting Fisheries to Climate Change

Climate change is becoming more evident and, as it increases, will alter the productivity of fisheries and the distribution of fish stocks. From an economic point of view, the changes will have impacts on fisheries and coastal communities in different ways. These expected changes require adaptable and flexible fisheries and aquaculture management policies and governance frameworks. However, the forms of future climate change and the extent of its impact remain uncertain. Fisheries policy makers therefore need to develop strategies and decision-making models in order to adapt to climate change under such uncertainty while taking into account social and economic consequences. 

While most work on climate change in the fisheries sector has focused on fisheries science, this book highlights the economic and policy aspects of adapting fisheries to climate change. An outcome of the OECD Workshop on the Economics of Adapting Fisheries to Climate Change, held in June 2010, the book outlines the actions that fisheries policy makers must undertake in the face of climate change. These include: strengthening the global governance system; a broader use of rights-based management systems; ecosystem protection; industry transformation through the ending of environmental harmful subsidies and a focus on demand for sustainably caught seafood; and, in particular, using aquaculture as a key part of the response to climate change.

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Publication Date :
28 Jan 2011
DOI :
10.1787/9789264090415-en
 
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Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
3–3
DOI :
10.1787/9789264090415-1-en

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Scientific findings indicate that aquatic climate change impacts are becoming more apparent and will continue to have a profound effect on the productivity of fisheries and the distribution of fish stocks around the world. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty associated with climate change in a fisheries context, particularly with respect to when it will occur, what kind of changes will take place and the extent of the impact it will have on aquatic ecosystems and fisheries. While global models exist and provide some indication of the magnitude of impacts, much work needs to be done at the local level in terms of understanding how fish stocks will react to changes in their environment, as well as how ecosystems will change. From a social and economic point of view, it is clear that the effects of climate change will result in the redistribution of costs and benefits for the fisheries sector and for coastal communities, but how much, when and to whom these benefits and costs will flow are less clear. In this regard, there is a need for fisheries policy makers to develop strategies and decision-making models to adapt to climate change under uncertainty, while also taking into account social and economic consequences.