Climate change increases the risk of fisheries conflict

The effects of climate change on the ocean environment – especially ocean warming, acidification, and sea level rise – will impact fish stocks and fishers in important ways. Likely impacts include changes in fish stocks’ productivity and distribution, human migration to and away from coastal areas, stresses on coastal fisheries infrastructure, and challenges to prevailing maritime boundaries. In this paper, we explore these and other related phenomena, in order to assess whether and how the impacts of climate change on fisheries will contribute to the risk of fisheries conflict. We argue that climate change will entail an increase in the conditions that may precipitate fisheries conflict, and thereby create new challenges for existing fisheries management institutions. Several potential changes in fisheries management policy are recommended to avert the growing risk of fisheries-related conflicts.

Mendenhall E., Hendrix C., Nyman E., Roberts P. M., Hoopes J. R., Watson J. R., Lam V. W. Y & Sumaila, U. R., 2020. Climate change increases the risk of fisheries conflict. Marine Policy 117, 103954. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103954. Article (subscription required).

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