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Impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture

The FAO has released a report on the current state of knowledge on how climate change will affect fisheries and aquaculture, including mitigation and adaptation options. The report finds that “climate change will lead to significant changes in the availability and trade of fish products”. Marine catches could decrease by 2050 in the tropics and rise in some high latitude regions, with a global decrease in Exclusive Economic Zones of 3% to 12%. Inland fisheries in Pakistan, Iraq, Morocco and Spain may come under greater stress, while those in Myanmar, Cambodia, the Congo, the Central African Republic and Colombia may remain under low stress in the future.

Specific ways in which climate change could impact fisheries and aquaculture include:

  • Impact of floods and other extreme weather events on infrastructure
  • Harmful algal blooms
  • Spread of parasites and pathogens
  • Increased competition for freshwater due to lower precipitation
  • Ocean acidification

For more details, see here, and download the full report here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource resource How might climatic change affect food systems in the future?

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