To date, there are few comprehensive assessments of how climate change affects inland finfish, fisheries, and aquaculture at a global scale, but one is necessary to identify research needs and commonalities across regions and to help guide decision making and funding priorities. Broadly, the consequences of climate change on inland fishes will impact global food security, the livelihoods of people who depend on inland capture and recreational fisheries. However, understanding how climate change will affect inland fishes and fisheries has lagged behind marine assessments. Building from a North American inland fisheries assessment, we convened an expert panel from seven countries to provide a first-step to a framework for determining how to approach an assessment of how climate change may affect inland fishes, capture fisheries, and aquaculture globally. Starting with the small group helped frame the key questions (e.g., who is the audience? What is the best approach and spatial scale?). Data gaps identified by the group include: the tolerances of inland fisheries to changes in temperature, stream flows, salinity, and other environmental factors linked to climate change, and the adaptive capacity of fishes and fisheries to adjust to these changes. These questions are difficult to address, but long-term and large-scale datasets are becoming more readily available as a means to test hypotheses related to climate change. We hope this perspective will help researchers and decision makers identify research priorities and provide a framework to help sustain inland fish populations and fisheries for the diversity of users around the globe.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2017
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