Climate Change and European Fisheries – the Challenge of Managing Fish Stocks that Move Across International Boundaries

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 9:40 AM
2103 (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
John Pinnegar , CEFAS, Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Climate change is having a profound impact on European fish populations with 70% of species having responded to warming by changing distribution and/or abundance. Centres of distribution have shifted northwards by distances ranging from 48 to 403 km since the 1980s. Such changes are having a considerable impact on fishing fleets and on local economies. The challenge of managing fish stocks that move across international boundaries is a serious one in European waters. Recent shifts in the distribution of mackerel and anchovy have highlighted potential difficulties arising because of fixed quota allocations and the inflexibility of management systems. Added to this, fish stocks such as North Sea plaice have moved outside closure areas designed to protect them and consequently certain management measures are now much less effective than they were in the past. In this presentation, projections of future fish distribution and yield are examined. Options are explored for how European fishing fleets might need to adapt in the future to meet the demands presented by climate change. Potential adaptation measures include: travelling further to fish for traditional species, changing gear to target different species, developing new routes to export markets to match the changes in catch supplied.