FAO Scientific Symposium: Climate Change Will Have Strong Impact on Fisheries

Fishing communities in the developing world are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Photo credit: FAO 10 July 2008: The International Symposium on Coping with Global Change in

Marine Social-Ecological Systems took place from 8-11 July 2008, in Rome, Italy. The Symposium,

organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the Global

Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics and the European Network of Excellence for Oceans Ecosystem

Analysis, brought together over 200 experts and policymakers from around

the globe to share experiences

and identify key next steps to promote resilience of marine social-ecological systems.

During the scientific sessions held

throughout the week, experts highlighted that temperatures and other

climate change-induced variations will impact fisheries and aquaculture, with

significant food security consequences for certain populations. It was also

noted that the climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture are already

being felt and include: increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather

events in marine waters; and the continuance of the warming, acidification and

shifts in salinity of the world's oceans. Delegates also underscored the role

fisheries and aquaculture play in providing food of high nutritional value and

generating income, especially in developing countries. Further, they stressed

the implications for fisheries production of climate impacts, which are likely

to exacerbate the livelihoods' instability of those communities that heavily

rely on them. [FAO press release,

10 July 2008] [Symposium website]