Posts Tagged 'fisheries'

Identifying potential consequences of natural perturbations and management decisions on a coastal fishery social-ecological system using qualitative loop analysis

Managing for sustainable development and resource extraction requires an understanding of the feedbacks between ecosystems and humans. These feedbacks are part of complex social-ecological systems (SES), in which resources, actors, and governance systems interact to produce outcomes across these component parts. Qualitative modeling approaches offer ways to assess complex SES dynamics. Loop analysis in particular is useful for examining and identifying potential outcomes from external perturbations and management interventions in data poor systems when very little is known about functional relationships and parameter values. Using a case study of multispecies, multifleet coastal small-scale fisheries, we demonstrate the application of loop analysis to provide predictions regarding SES responses to perturbations and management actions. Specifically, we examine the potential ecological and socioeconomic consequences to coastal fisheries of different governance interventions (e.g., territorial user rights, fisheries closures, market-based incentives, ecotourism subsidies) and environmental changes. Our results indicate that complex feedbacks among biophysical and socioeconomic components can result in counterintuitive and unexpected outcomes. For example, creating new jobs through ecotourism or subsidies might have mixed effects on members of fishing cooperatives vs. nonmembers, highlighting equity issues. Market-based interventions, such as ecolabels, are expected to have overall positive economic effects, assuming a direct effect of ecolabels on market-prices, and a lack of negative biological impacts under most model structures. Our results highlight that integrating ecological and social variables in a unique unit of management can reveal important potential trade-offs between desirable ecological and social outcomes, highlight which user groups might be more vulnerable to external shocks, and identify which interventions should be further tested to identify potential win-win outcomes across the triple-bottom line of the sustainable development paradigm.

Continue reading ‘Identifying potential consequences of natural perturbations and management decisions on a coastal fishery social-ecological system using qualitative loop analysis’

Climate change, zooplankton and fisheries

We summarize responses to and mechanisms by which zooplankton cope with climate change. Effects of ocean warming include altered phenology, body size reduction, decline of tropical zooplankton biomass, functional group shifts in Polar Regions, and poleward expansion of zooplankton distributions. Thermal specialists (zooplankton from tropical and Polar Regions) may already perform near their limits and will be more vulnerable to warming. Evolutionary adaptation may mitigate, but not always fully offset the adverse effects of warming; thus, dispersal may play a prevalent role in the future distribution of species. While direct negative effects of ocean acidification is largely confined to calcifying organisms, early life stages of noncalcifying species (e.g., copepods, fish larvae) are susceptible to sublethal effects, particularly in combination with increasing temperature. Evidence is emerging for a large adaptation potential to hypercapnia in zooplankton. Hypoxia negatively affects physiology and life history traits. Despite zooplankton physiological and behavioral adaptations to hypoxia, shoaling of hypoxic waters likely increases predation mortality. Combined effects of warming, hypercapnia and hypoxia are poorly characterized or understood, but will likely depress performance and narrow the thermal performance curve. Climate change could result in different kinds of mismatches between zooplankton and fish larvae, i.e., (i) temporal, (ii) spatial, (iii) bioenergetic, and (iv) evolutionary mistmatches that individually or in combination, would result in altered larval fish growth and survival. Linkages between climate, zooplankton and fisheries are explored using the Baltic Sea as a case study.

Continue reading ‘Climate change, zooplankton and fisheries’

Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints

Global warming drives changes in oceanographic conditions in the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent continental slopes. This may result in favourable conditions for increased biological production in waters at the northern continental shelves. However, production in the central Arctic Ocean will continue to be limited by the amount of light and by vertical stratification reducing nutrient availability. Upwelling conditions due to topography and inflowing warm and nutrient rich Atlantic Water may result in high production in areas along the shelf breaks. This may particularly influence distribution and abundance of sea mammals, as can be seen from analysis of historical records of hunting. The species composition and biomass of plankton, fish and shellfish may be influenced by acidification due to increased carbon dioxide uptake in the water, thereby reducing the survival of some species. Northwards shift in the distribution of commercial species of fish and shellfish is observed in the Barents Sea, especially in the summer period, and is related to increased inflow of Atlantic Water and reduced ice cover. This implies a northward extension of boreal species and potential displacement of lipid-rich Arctic zooplankton, altering the distribution of organisms that depend on such prey. However, euphausiid stocks expanding northward into the Arctic Ocean may be a valuable food resource as they may benefit from increases in Arctic phytoplankton production and rising water temperatures. Even though no scenario modelling or other prediction analyses have been made, both scientific ecosystem surveys in the northern areas, as well as the fisheries show indications of a recent northern expansion of mackerel (Scomber scombrus), cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and capelin (Mallotus villosus). These stocks are found as far north as the shelf-break north of Svalbard. Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), redfish (Sebastes spp.) and shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are also present in the slope waters between the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. It is assumed that cod and haddock have reached their northernmost limit, whereas capelin and redfish have potential to expand their distribution further into the Arctic Ocean. Common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) may also be able to expand their distribution into the Arctic Ocean. The abundance and distribution of other species may change as well – to what degree is unknown.

Continue reading ‘Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints’

Risks of ocean acidification in the California Current food web and fisheries: ecosystem model projections

The benefits and ecosystem services that humans derive from the oceans are threatened by numerous global change stressors, one of which is ocean acidification. Here, we describe the effects of ocean acidification on an upwelling system that already experiences inherently low pH conditions, the California Current. We used an end-to-end ecosystem model (Atlantis), forced by downscaled global climate models and informed by a meta-analysis of the pH sensitivities of local taxa, to investigate the direct and indirect effects of future pH on biomass and fisheries revenues. Our model projects a 0.2-unit drop in pH during the summer upwelling season from 2013 to 2063, which results in wide-ranging magnitudes of effects across guilds and functional groups. The most dramatic direct effects of future pH may be expected on epibenthic invertebrates (crabs, shrimps, benthic grazers, benthic detritivores, bivalves), and strong indirect effects expected on some demersal fish, sharks, and epibenthic invertebrates (Dungeness crab) because they consume species known to be sensitive to changing pH. The model’s pelagic community, including marine mammals and seabirds, was much less influenced by future pH. Some functional groups were less affected to changing pH in the model than might be expected from experimental studies in the empirical literature due to high population productivity (e.g., copepods, pteropods). Model results suggest strong effects of reduced pH on nearshore state-managed invertebrate fisheries, but modest effects on the groundfish fishery because individual groundfish species exhibited diverse responses to changing pH. Our results provide a set of projections that generally support and build upon previous findings and set the stage for hypotheses to guide future modeling and experimental analysis on the effects of OA on marine ecosystems and fisheries.

Continue reading ‘Risks of ocean acidification in the California Current food web and fisheries: ecosystem model projections’

Climate change impacts on tropical and temperate fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood security and implications – A review

Fish is an important source of animal protein for billions of people and in some tropical countries like Bangladesh, the Pacific islands, and the Maldives, fish provides more than 60% of animal protein supply. Climate change [the rise in temperatures (T°C), ocean acidification (OA), sea-level rise (SLR) and extreme events (EE)] is an additional threat and risk to world fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood security, in addition, to existing threats posed by other stressors. The T°C will have both the negative and positive effects on fisheries and aquaculture, of which, the temperate areas/countries will benefit, while the tropical regions/countries will be losers due to shifting in fish species from the tropical areas to the temperate areas to escape the warmer water. The T°C would cause coral bleaching and mortalities and may enhance seafood contamination (by algal toxins and metals). The OA would adversely affect many organisms that use calcium carbonate for their skeletons and would cause a decrease in abundance of commercially exploited seafood organisms (shellfish and finfish). SLR would cause salinisation of freshwater fisheries and aquaculture facilities and would damage or destroy many coastal ecosystems including mangroves and salt marshes, which are essential habitat for wild fish stocks. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of EE. Besides, EE would destroy seagrass and seaweed beds and mangroves (which are important nursery areas for fishes). The economic loss and impacts on fisheries, aquaculture and seafood security due to T°C, OA, SLR, EE could be substantial in both tropical and temperate areas/countries. This review reveals that fisheries in the least developed tropical countries/regions such as Bangladesh, the Maldives, the Pacific islands, and parts of Africa would be most vulnerable due to lack or limited resources, capacity and capabilities to adapt to climate change and high dependency on fish, fisheries, fishing and aquaculture as a source of food, animal protein, revenues, and livelihoods To achieve sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture in line with the new global sustainable development goals (2016-2030), it will be essential to identify appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures. Such measures may include promotion of climate-smart fisheries and climate-smart aquaculture, and conservation of seagrass and seaweed beds, salt marshes, and mangroves. Community awareness and education on climate change, an introduction of climate change courses in schools, colleges, and universities and incorporation of climate change risks in all the current and future development projects/plans would be vital to minimise threats and risks of climate change on fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood security.

Continue reading ‘Climate change impacts on tropical and temperate fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood security and implications – A review’

Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: a review of possibilities and constraints

Global warming drives changes in oceanographic conditions in the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent continental slopes. This may result in favourable conditions for increased biological production in waters at the northern continental shelves. However, production in the central Arctic Ocean will continue to be limited by the amount of light and by vertical stratification reducing nutrient availability. Upwelling conditions due to topography and inflowing warm and nutrient rich Atlantic Water may result in high production in areas along the shelf breaks. This may particularly influence distribution and abundance of sea mammals, as can be seen from analysis of historical records of hunting. The species composition and biomass of plankton, fish and shellfish may be influenced by acidification due to increased carbon dioxide uptake in the water, thereby reducing the survival of some species. Northwards shift in the distribution of commercial species of fish and shellfish is observed in the Barents Sea, especially in the summer period, and is related to increased inflow of Atlantic Water and reduced ice cover. This implies a northward extension of boreal species and potential displacement of lipid-rich Arctic zooplankton, altering the distribution of organisms that depend on such prey. However, euphausiid stocks expanding northward into the Arctic Ocean may be a valuable food resource as they may benefit from increases in Arctic phytoplankton production and rising water temperatures. Even though no scenario modelling or other prediction analyses have been made, both scientific ecosystem surveys in the northern areas, as well as the fisheries show indications of a recent northern expansion of mackerel (Scomber scombrus), cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and capelin (Mallotus villosus). These stocks are found as far north as the shelf-break north of Svalbard. Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), redfish (Sebastes spp.) and shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are also present in the slope waters between the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. It is assumed that cod and haddock have reached their northernmost limit, whereas capelin and redfish have potential to expand their distribution further into the Arctic Ocean. Common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) may also be able to expand their distribution into the Arctic Ocean. The abundance and distribution of other species may change as well – to what degree is unknown.

Continue reading ‘Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: a review of possibilities and constraints’

Estimating the ecological, economic and social impacts of ocean acidification and warming on UK fisheries

Assessments of the combined ecological impacts of ocean acidification and warming (OAW) and their social and economic consequences can help develop adaptive and responsive management strategies in the most sensitive regions. Here, available observational and experimental data, theoretical, and modelling approaches are combined to project and quantify potential effects of OAW on the future fisheries catches and resulting revenues and employment in the UK under different CO2 emission scenarios. Across all scenarios, based on the limited available experimental results considered, the bivalve species investigated were more affected by OAW than the fish species considered, compared with ocean warming alone. Projected standing stock biomasses decrease between 10 and 60%. These impacts translate into an overall fish and shellfish catch decrease of between 10 and 30% by 2020 across all areas except for the Scotland >10 m fleet. This latter fleet shows average positive impacts until 2050, declining afterwards. The main driver of the projected decreases is temperature rise (0.5–3.3 °C), which exacerbate the impact of decreases in primary production (10–30%) in UK fishing waters. The inclusion of the effect of ocean acidification on the carbon uptake of primary producers had very little impact on the projections of potential fish and shellfish catches (<1%). The <10 m fleet is likely to be the most impacted by-catch decreases in the short term (2020–50), whereas the effects will be experienced more strongly by the >10 m fleet by the end of the century in all countries. Overall, losses in revenue are estimated to range between 1 and 21% in the short term (2020–50) with England and Scotland being the most negatively impacted in absolute terms, and Wales and North Ireland in relative terms. Losses in total employment (fisheries and associated industries) may reach approximately 3–20% during 2020–50 with the >10 m fleet and associated industries bearing the majority of the losses.

Continue reading ‘Estimating the ecological, economic and social impacts of ocean acidification and warming on UK fisheries’


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book