Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Report / Paper

Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture

AUTHORS: Clare Shelton


January 2014


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has assembled descriptions of 26 current or recent fisheries and aquaculture programmes that have addressed climate change adaptation in developing countries.

The report provides an overview of pathways through which climate change impacts fisheries and food security, placing these in context with the range of risks facing global marine and freshwater fisheries. It identifies effects on production ecology, post-harvest operations, communities and livelihoods, and wider societal impacts. With respect to adaptation, the report considers autonomous and planned adaptation in fisheries, and highlights "no-regrets" approaches that build general resilience. Broad adaptation approaches identified include: reducing external stressors on natural systems; identifying and protecting valuable areas; investing in safe harbours; promoting disaster risk management; and investing in capacity building and financial risk tools.

The report suggests that planners need to recognize the opening of new opportunities, learn from the past, identify useful information, link local, national and regional policies, and engage in spatial planning and monitoring.

The report also describes a living shorelines approach. It draws examples from the: Bay of Bengal; South China Sea; Gulf of Thailand; Sulu-Celebes Sea; Pacific Islands; Humboldt Current; Gulf of Mexico; Mediterranean Sea; Guinea Current; Somali Current; Agulhas Current; and the Indian Ocean Islands.