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Gulf of Mexico menhaden fishery. (Photo: NOAA)

Fisheries could reduce significantly by 2050 due to climate change, FAO

  (ITALY, 7/27/2018)

New research carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that fisheries could reduce significantly by 2050 if measures are not taken to mitigate climate change.

The report advises countries to build a more sustainable and resilient sector through climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in order to protect marine species as well as strengthen fisheries production, food security, revenues and fisheries governance.

In one of the chapters, the document features marine fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic Ocean, which includes the Caribbean region, Gulf of Mexico and Northern Brazil area .

Referring to these fisheries, Dr. Hazel Oxenford, Professor of Fisheries and Marine Ecology at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and Dr. Iris Monnereau, Regional Project Coordinator of the Climate Change Adaptation of the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector of Project, co-authors of FAO report, argue that the Caribbean’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the world.

Both scientists warn that if countries do not increase their efforts to build climate resilience at multiple stakeholder levels, including among local and regional fisherfolk and fisherfolk organisations, the disruptions will worsen as climate change progresses over the next three decades.

These researchers emphasize potential socio-economic impacts on the sector, including a decline in food security and nutrition and an increase in poverty among people who rely on the fisheries sector for their livelihoods.

Some of the expected negative outcomes of climate change these researchers present in FAO document include a drop in fish populations, food safety risks, negative economic impacts, possible strains in fisheries related international agreements, and the increases likelihood of conflict.

The authors conclude that while several countries have already been engaging in some adaptation measures, such as the development of mobile applications for improving early warning and safety at sea, a lot still remains to be done.
 
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