Will Climate Change Degrade the Efficacy of Marine Resource Management Policies?
Climate change is expected to create numerous and significant impacts to the marine environment, with serious implications for marine species, ecosystems, and those who depend on them. In this review we argue that in addition to the biophysical, economic, social, and cultural impacts commonly identified by marine climate research, climate change likely also creates policy impacts — i.e., tangible impacts on the efficacy of resource policy.
We use the precautionary approach to fisheries management as a case in point to describe two pathways by which climate change could impact policy efficacy: climate change (i) creates challenges for efforts to assess and contextualize resource statuses, and (ii) complicates the implementation of precautionary policies. We argue that by pursuing anticipatory governance, fisheries management institutions could more fully engage with climate-driven uncertainty and the broad range of scenarios possible in a rapidly changing marine environment.