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Hot fish: the response to climate change by regional fisheries bodies


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Sumby, J, Haward, M ORCID: 0000-0003-4775-0864, Fulton, EA and Pecl, GT ORCID: 0000-0003-0192-4339 2021 , 'Hot fish: the response to climate change by regional fisheries bodies' , Marine Policy, vol. 123 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104284.

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This paper explores institutional responses from Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) to climate change. Fisheries management is highly dependent on the stability or predictability of targeted fish populations. Oceanic changes occurring as a result of climate change will see continuing and potentially irreversible deviations from the conditions of fisheries past. These changes present challenges to fisheries management at all scales – from local to international – relating to food security, sustainability, and ecological integrity. Areas of measurably warmer ocean, or ‘hotspots’, are a very clear indicator of direct climate change effects. RFBs with hotspots in their areas of competence were chosen for this study. Three levels of institutional engagement were developed: Awareness of climate change; Learning about climate change; Action taken by the institutions. While 94% of institutions demonstrated awareness of climate change and 82% demonstrated learning about climate change, only 41% demonstrated some form of action; and these were mainly procedural and administrative. Only two of the RFBs considered made explicit statements about incorporating climate change into future fishing management plans. The inference is that RFBs are largely practising business-as-usual, with the implication that many exploited fish populations will face additional survival pressure as the sea around them alters.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sumby, J and Haward, M and Fulton, EA and Pecl, GT
Keywords: climate change, hotspots, fisheries management, governance, regional fisheries bodies
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Policy
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 0308-597X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104284
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

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