Climate change could lead to major revenue hit for east coast fisheries: study

According to new research, fisheries in the Maritimes could be facing an eight per cent hit in revenues if climate change continues at its current pace. The finding is part of a global study released this week from the University of British Columbia. In it, researchers found that global fisheries could lose about $10 billion in revenue by the year 2050 if climate change and its impacts aren’t slowed down. How severely regions will feel the impact varies, but overall, the drop in revenues could reach 10 per cent, according to the study titled Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change.

The study, co-authored by four UBC researchers, attributes the drop in revenue to changing and declining fish stock. It says rising water temperatures are already forcing fish to move towards the poles meaning regions around the equator are losing their traditional fish stocks. However, factors such as rising ocean acidity and changing salinity and oxygen levels mean fish that travel further north and south won’t necessarily survive. “The Arctic is actually the hot spot for ocean acidification,” co-author Rashid Sumaila said. “So it’s almost like the fish is running out of hot water into acidic water, can you imagine that?”

Shellfish in particular are affected by ocean acidification because it makes it more difficult for shells to develop and harden, Sumaila said. (…)

Marieke Walsh, Global News, 9 September 2016. Article.


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