The adaptive capacity of fishery management systems for confronting climate change impacts on marine populations

The adaptive capacity of fishery management systems for confronting climate change impacts on... Global climate change will affect the abundance, distribution, and life history timing of many exploited marine populations, but specific changes are difficult to predict. Management systems in which harvest strategies and tactics are flexible in responding to unpredictable biological changes are more likely to succeed in maintaining productive populations. We explore the adaptability of fisheries management systems in relation to oceanic warming rates by asking how two important management characteristics vary with temperature changes for >500 stocks. (1) Harvest control rules, a framework for altering fishing pressure in response to changes in the abundance of targeted species (primarily due to fishing), may provide the capacity for harvest policies to change in response to climate-driven abundance declines also. (2) Seasonal openings with flexible dates that involve in-season monitoring may allow managers to better respond to possible changes in the timing of life-history periods like spawning to prevent fishing seasons falling out of sync with species’ phenology. Harvest control rules were widely used across industrialized fisheries including in regions that experienced relatively high oceanic warming rates, but after controlling for regional factors we found no association between ocean warming and the use of harvest control rules. Flexible-date seasonal openings were rare compared to fixed-date seasonal openings, but tended to occur in areas with the greatest warming rates while fisheries without seasonal closures tended to occur in areas with the least observed temperature changes. We found no consistent evidence of recent ocean warming effects on the current biomass or exploitation rates relative to management targets of 241 assessed marine populations. Together, these results suggest that the oceanic areas expected to have the greatest climate impacts on populations do at least tend to contain fisheries that demonstrate the potential for adaptability to unpredictable climate impacts. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries Springer Journals

The adaptive capacity of fishery management systems for confronting climate change impacts on marine populations

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Springer International Publishing
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Zoology
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