Global climate change risk to fisheries – a multi-risk assessment

Our study explores variations in the risk of fishery-dependent coastal nations to ocean acidification, sea surface temperature change, sea level rise, and storms. Our findings reveal differences in risk based on geographical location and the development status of a country. Our findings indicate significant geographical differences for three of the four risk indicators including sea level rise, sea surface temperature changes, and storms. Strategies for reducing risk globally thus need to be adapted to regional differences in risks. We further detected multiple inter-regional differences, indicating that risk was not uniformly distributed within geographic regions suggesting that some regions could see an increase in conflicts over fish resources due to uneven impacts of climate change on fisheries. In addition, we found that a number of countries are at medium to very high risk to multiple climate-related impacts, indicating the need for strategies that increase adaptive capacity in general in these countries to cope with any kind of impact in addition to specific risk reduction strategies. We also found that overall small island developing states were most at risk. Yet, further analysis showed that grouping of countries in pre-defined groups fails to detect variations in risk among countries within these groups. More specific national indicators provide more nuanced insights into risk patterns.

Heck N., Beck M. W., Reguero B., Pfliegner K., Ricker M. & Prütz R., 2022. Global climate change risk to fisheries – a multi-risk assessment. Marine Policy 148: 105404. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2022.105404. Article (subscription required).

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