This paper is a compilation of information on impacts of climate change on Caribbean fisheries and adaptation approaches to these impacts. It also incorporates discussions and recommendations from the “Consultation on Adaptation of Fisheries and Fishing Communities to the Impacts of Climate Change in the CARICOM Region”, held in Tobago, April 14-15, 2002.
Clearly, there is the potential for climate change to have a wide range of substantial impacts on fisheries in CARICOM countries. These include impacts on: habitats, the resources, harvesting patterns, shore facilities, aquaculture and fishing communities. Adaptations include habitat conservation, upgrading of vessels and facilities, relocation of facilities. However, underlying these is the needs for integration of climate change issues into fisheries planning. Given that fisheries planning should involve consultation with stakeholders, there will be the need for increased awareness among stakeholders regarding the possible climate change impacts and adaptations.
Increased capacity for dealing with climate change impacts is highly coincident with the broader needs of countries regarding improved fisheries management. These include improved fisheries data and information systems, approaches to interacting with stakeholders and capacity to carry out research, and/or to collaborate with regional and international institutions in pursuing research objectives.