Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change

Johann D. Bell, Johanna E. Johnson
Created: 11/06/2011 -


Fisheries and aquaculture are of great importance to the people of the tropical Pacific. Nowhere else do so many countries and territories depend as heavily on fish and shellfish for economic development, government revenue, food security and livelihoods. This book examines how climate change could affect the region’s plans to maximize sustainable economic and social benefits from fisheries and aquaculture – already a challenge in the face of predicted population growth. Scientists and managers from 36 institutions have collaborated to carry out this vulnerability assessment. Their analyses span the projected effects of global warming on surface climate, the ocean, fish habitats, fish stocks and aquaculture production across the vast domain of the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories. The likely effects of ocean acidification have also been evaluated. The implications are mixed – there are likely to be winners and losers. Tuna catches are eventually expected to be higher around islands in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean but lower in the west. Harvests from coastal fisheries and aquaculture are projected to decrease across the region but greater yields are likely from freshwater fisheries and pond aquaculture. This book recommends adaptations, policies and investments that should enable governments and communities to reduce the threats of climate change to fisheries and aquaculture and capitalize on opportunities. These recommendations are relevant to the concerns of all stakeholders in the region and their development partners.

Published On


Multilateral / Transboundary
Sector Addressed
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Incorporate climate change into harvest/take policies
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy
Governance and Policy
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies
Maintain adequate financial resources for adaptation
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Culture / communities
Fishery harvest
Ocean acidification
Range shifts
Species of concern
Water temperature
Hawaii & Pacific Islands