News

SPC Assesses Vulnerability of Tropical Fisheries to Climate Change

7 November 2011: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has released a publication titled “Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change," which includes contributions from 88 international scientists and fisheries specialists. The publication concludes that there will be winners and losers as a consequence of climate change in the Pacific region.

The book was launched on the sidelines of the seventh Conference of the Pacific Community, which convened from 7-8 November 2011, in Noumea, New Caledonia. It predicts that ocean acidification and loss of important habitats, such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and intertidal flats, will dramatically decrease the fish and shellfish that support many coastal communities. Communities are instead predicted to become more reliant on rich tuna resources.

Freshwater fisheries are predicted to be “winners,” with the book outlining expected improvements in freshwater pond aquaculture. However, the publication notes that improved aquaculture will not be able to feed the rapidly increasing population.

The book's final chapter sets out possible adaptation strategies, including installing fish aggregating devices to drive tuna closer to shore and encouraging freshwater aquaculture. [SPC Press Release] [Publication: Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change]