The Patagonian fisheries over time: facts and lessons to be learned to face global change

Environmental and anthropic stressors have triggered unprecedented effects on the marine ecosystem. The global increase of marine temperature and acidification caused changes in fish availability and thus catches worldwide. Fostered by a legal framework favoring the investment in extractive capacity, industrial fishing in Atlantic Patagonia grew markedly since the 1960s, leading to the overexploitation of certain stocks. Nowadays, the regulatory system of individual transferable quotas is enforced for hake, but most resources in Patagonia continue being managed under an olympic system lacking planning for sustainability. We analyzed the vulnerability of the Patagonian fisheries to environmental (water temperature and acidification) and human stressors (overexploitation and market forces) in terms of their exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Most of the Patagonian fisheries have operated in a scenario of low exposure to climate change. The shellfisheries, however, exhibited the highest sensitivity, as well as the lowest adaptive capacity, to acidification. Regarding the anthropic stressors, both the king crab and shrimp fisheries scored highly sensitive to overexploitation and market forces. Finally, the fisheries targeting the king crab and the Bonaerense demersal fish assemblage evidenced the lowest adaptive capacity against market forces. We propose management options for each case within the context of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.

Narvarte M. A., Avaca M. S., de la Barra P., Góngora M. E., Jaureguízar A. J., Reinaldo M. O., Romero M. A., Storero L. P., Svendsen G. M., Tapella F., Zaidman P. & González R. A., 2022. The Patagonian fisheries over time: facts and lessons to be learned to face global change. In: Helbling E. W., Narvarte M. A., González R. A. & Villafañe V. E. (Eds), Global Change in Atlantic Coastal Patagonian Ecosystems: A Journey Through Time. Natural and Social Sciences of Patagonia, pp 349-385. Springer, Cham. Chapter (restricted access).

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