Impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture
The FAO has released a report on the current state of knowledge on how climate change will affect fisheries and aquaculture, including mitigation and adaptation options. The report finds that “climate change will lead to significant changes in the availability and trade of fish products”. Marine catches could decrease by 2050 in the tropics and rise in some high latitude regions, with a global decrease in Exclusive Economic Zones of 3% to 12%. Inland fisheries in Pakistan, Iraq, Morocco and Spain may come under greater stress, while those in Myanmar, Cambodia, the Congo, the Central African Republic and Colombia may remain under low stress in the future.
Specific ways in which climate change could impact fisheries and aquaculture include:
- Impact of floods and other extreme weather events on infrastructure
- Harmful algal blooms
- Spread of parasites and pathogens
- Increased competition for freshwater due to lower precipitation
- Ocean acidification
For more details, see here, and download the full report here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource resource How might climatic change affect food systems in the future?
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.