Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change
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.