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Improved fisheries management could offset many negative effects of climate change


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The world’s oceans supply food and livelihood to billions of people, yet species’ shifting geographic ranges and changes in productivity arising from climate change are expected to profoundly affect these benefits. We ask how improvements in fishery management can offset the negative consequences of climate change; we find that the answer hinges on the current status of stocks. The poor current status of many stocks combined with potentially maladaptive responses to range shifts could reduce future global fisheries yields and profits even more severely than previous estimates have suggested. However, reforming fisheries in ways that jointly fix current inefficiencies, adapt to fisheries productivity changes, and proactively create effective transboundary institutions could lead to a future with higher profits and yields compared to what is produced today.
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Gaines et al., Sci. Adv. 2018; 4 : eaao1378 29 August 2018
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Improved fisheries management could offset many
negative effects of climate change
Steven D. Gaines1*, Christopher Costello1, Brandon Owashi1†, Tracey Mangin1†, Jennifer Bone1†,
Jorge García Molinos2,3,4, Merrick Burden5, Heather Dennis6, Benjamin S. Halpern1,7,8,
Carrie V. Kappel7, Kristin M. Kleisner5, Daniel Ovando1
The world’s oceans supply food and livelihood to billions of people, yet species’ shifting geographic ranges and
changes in productivity arising from climate change are expected to profoundly affect these benefits. We ask how
improvements in fishery management can offset the negative consequences of climate change; we find that the
answer hinges on the current status of stocks. The poor current status of many stocks combined with potentially
maladaptive responses to range shifts could reduce future global fisheries yields and profits even more severely
than previous estimates have suggested. However, reforming fisheries in ways that jointly fix current inefficiencies,
adapt to fisheries productivity changes, and proactively create effective transboundary institutions could lead to
a future with higher profits and yields compared to what is produced today.
Oceans provide enormous benefits to people (1). Each year, more
than 80 million metric tons of seafood is harvested, providing more
than 20% of needed animal protein to nearly 3 billion people and
livelihood to 10% of the global population (2). However, climate
change is already compromising these benefits through changes in
both stock productivity and location (3, 4). Previous estimates of
climate change impacts on the world’s fisheries have focused on the
direct effects of ecosystem-level changes by comparing maximum
potential food production today with that in the future (4). While
instructive for assessing what could theoretically be possible, focus-
ing on changes in maximum potential food production alone over-
looks the effects of alternative human responses to climate change,
which could either limit or exacerbate ecosystem changes. The ac-
tions of fishermen, management institutions, and markets can all
influence the magnitude of fisheries benefits obtained from an eco-
system (5). Here, we ask: What are the potential benefits of adaptive
fisheries management reforms that address anticipated consequences
of changes in species productivity and distribution due to climate
change? We examine how future global biomass, harvest, and prof-
it of the world’s fisheries might change over time if a range of poten-
tial human responses and climate change are considered together.
Considerable scope remains for increasing global fisheries yield,
conservation, and profitability by improving current fishery man-
agement (5), but climate change could compromise these potential
upside benefits (4, 6). Although climate effects are diverse, the im-
pacts on global fisheries can be clustered into two broad categories:
changes in stock productivity, which affect potential yields and prof-
its, and changes in stock distributions, which affect where fish can
be caught and who might catch them. These changes pose distinct
management challenges. Responding to changes in fisheries produc-
tivity requires harvest policies that are appropriately adaptive to
changing demographics. For example, banded morwong and many
other species in the Tasman Sea have already experienced noticeable
changes in their population sizes driven by rapid warming (7, 8).
Failure to adequately address these changes can further exacerbate
management failures. By contrast, changes in species distributions
(3, 9, 10) can move stocks into and out of management jurisdictions,
such as countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZs), altering manage-
ment jurisdiction and incentives for those stocks. A perceived or antic-
ipated decline of a stock due to a range shift out of one country
creates an incentive to overharvest before it leaves the nation’s waters
(11). In contrast, as a stock enters a new EEZ or the high seas, a new
and potentially unmanaged fishery emerges. If left unaddressed, these
range shift challenges can drive overharvesting, even in fisheries that
are currently managed effectively. For example, until 2009, North
East Atlantic mackerel was well managed under a trilateral agreement
between Norway, the Faroe Islands, and the European Union. How-
ever, because of shifts in migration patterns, Iceland suddenly became
a key contender in the fishery and maximized its newfound access to a
valuable fishery. Since countries could not agree on appropriate quota
allocations, management was compromised. By 2010, mackerel har-
vest was 40% above safe biological recommendations (12). Solving
these stock movement challenges requires the proactive development
of effective transboundary institutions (13, 14).
To explore the potential range of human responses to climate
change, we analyze four management scenarios that bound human
responses to the dual challenges of range and productivity shifts:
(i) Full Adaptation, (ii) Range Shift Adaptation, (iii) Productivity
Adaptation, and (iv) No Adaptation. The Full Adaptation scenario
assumes that management addresses both productivity and range
shift challenges. Thus, we apply an economically optimal harvest
policy that maximizes long-term economic benefits to each stock (5).
This dynamic harvest control rule optimally adjusts fishing mortality
on the basis of available biomass and is therefore naturally adaptive
to climate-driven productivity changes. In this scenario, we assume
1Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California,
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA. 2Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido
University, N21 W11, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021, Japan. 3Global Station
for Arctic Research, Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education,
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021, Japan. 4Graduate School of En-
vironmental Science, Hokkaido University, N10W5 Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810,
Japan. 5Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY 10010, USA. 6San Francisco Bay
Conservation and Development Commission, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 10600,
San Francisco, CA 94102, USA. 7National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis,
735 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA. 8Silwood Park Campus, Imperial
College London, Buckhurst Road, Ascot SL57PY, UK.
*Corresponding author. Email:
†These authors contributed equally t o this work.
Copyright © 2018
The Authors, some
rights reserved;
exclusive licensee
American Association
for the Advancement
of Science. No claim to
original U.S. Government
Works. Distributed
under a Creative
Commons Attribution
License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
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that management also addresses challenges posed by shifting stocks
(for example, through new proactive institutions, such as effective
transboundary agreements), ensuring that effective management does
not degrade because of spatial shifts. Therefore, under this manage-
ment scenario, all species, including those expected to shift across
management boundaries, are managed with an optimized harvest
control rule. Conversely, the No Adaptation scenario assumes that
neither climate challenge is addressed. In this scenario, the current
fishing mortality rate is initially applied to all stocks but is only
maintained for those that do not shift across EEZs. Management for
those that shift gradually transitions to open access, where fishing
mortality is driven by short-term profits. Both the looming depar-
ture of a stock and the emergence of a new stock motivate this shift
in management. The length of this transition for each stock depends
on how quickly it is expected to experience a range shift across EEZs.
The Full Adaptation and No Adaptation scenarios bookend the pos-
sible future outcomes for global fisheries.
The two intermediate scenarios separately address one of the two
challenges explored in this paper. The Range Shift Adaptation sce-
nario assumes that management addresses challenges posed by shift-
ing stocks but lacks a response to changes in productivity. Under
this management scenario, the current fishing mortality rate is main-
tained for all stocks, as it ensures that current management does not
degrade because of spatial shifts and does not benefit from an optimal
harvest rule. Productivity Adaptation manages for fisheries produc-
tivity changes that affect population dynamics and potential yields
but takes no actions to address range shift challenges. Therefore, the
economically optimal harvest rule is only applied to species for which
climate change is not expected to cause border crossings. For all other
stocks, we apply a harvest rule that gradually shifts from the eco-
nomically optimal fishing mortality rate to the rate expected under
open access (see the “Policy alternatives” section in the Supplementary
Materials for details on all policies). These management scenarios,
while broad and, in some cases, idealistic, can provide general in-
sights into how a range of approaches to climate challenges might
affect future biomass, harvest, and profit.
We apply the appropriate harvest rates prescribed by these four
management alternatives to 915 single- and mixed-species stocks acro ss
the globe that have adequate data to both assess their current status
and forecast their future distributions. The majority (779) consist of
stocks of individual species (species stocks). The remainder (136)
are mixed-species aggregations (NEI stocks—Food and Agriculture
Organization Not-Elsewhere Included fisheries). Cumulatively, these
915 species stocks or NEI stocks (hereafter collectively referred to as
“stocks”) represent 67% of total current global catch (2). Changes in
range for each species, projected under four different greenhouse
Fig. 1. Percent change in MSY under RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5. The red dashed line indicates global percent change (weighted mean) in MSY. Gray lines represent
change in MSY for all 915 global stocks.
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gas concentration pathways [Representative Concentration Pathways
(RCPs)] (15), determine how climate change will likely affect each
stock’s productivity and spatial range under several future climatic
scenarios (table S1). We focus mostly on the moderately high-emission
scenario, RCP 6.0, under which global mean temperature is expected
to increase by 2.2°C by 2100 (16).
Fishery productivity changes
Total global fisheries maximum sustainable yield (MSY) does not
change markedly by 2100 under three of the four RCPs. Global MSY
(weighted mean) is expected to change by 1.0, −1.5, −5.0, and −25.0%
under RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5, respectively (Fig.1). These modest
global changes in productivity under the three lower RCPs, however,
mask enormous variation in changes across stocks. While some
stocks essentially go extinct (MSY declines by 100%), others increase
by more than 35% under RCP 6.0. Overall, approximately 41, 53, 66,
and 91% of global stocks experience a projected decline in total MSY
by 2100 under RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5, respectively.
Range shifts
The percentage of species stocks that shift across country boundaries
by 2100 increases with the severity of the climate projection (Fig.2).
The percentage of individual species that will shift across EEZs
ranges from 36% (RCP 2.6) to 81% (RCP 8.5). These shifting stocks
comprise between 27.8 and 71.7% of the current global MSY. Under
RCPs 6.0 and 8.5, most species that shift across EEZs experience shifts
both into new and out of old EEZs (Fig.2).
Future global projections
We find that adopting proactive and adaptive fishery management
approaches today would lead to substantially higher global profits
(154%), harvest (34%), and biomass (60%) in the future compared
to No Adaptation (Fig.3). Simultaneously addressing both range
shift and productivity changes generates much greater benefits in
profits, harvest, and biomass than focusing on either challenge alone.
Similar trends are observed across all RCPs, where a fully adaptive
strategy produces consistently large increases in all three parameters
compared to No Adaptation (fig. S1). Productivity or Range Shift
Adaptation alone produces intermediate benefits.
While these results show that adapting to climate change deliv-
ers far better outcomes than not adapting, we can also compare fu-
ture outcomes to what is obtained today. Even in the presence of the
net negative effects of climate change, the Full Adaptation policy could
deliver higher total profit, harvest, and biomass (increases of 27, 16,
and 29%, respectively) than what the oceans provide today (Fig.4).
Increases over today for all three indicators are only attained when both
kinds of management changes are pursued together. Productivity
Adaptation alone can slightly increase harvest but not profit or biomass,
while Range Shift Adaptation alone can slightly increase biomass but
not profit or harvest. No Adaptation results in far lower profits, har-
vest, and biomass compared to what is achieved today. Under the
most extreme climate scenario (RCP 8.5), Full Adaptation can no
longer generate outcomes that are better than today in all three metrics
(Fig.4 and fig. S1). These patterns of outcomes relative to today gen-
erally hold for alternative assumptions regarding global stock compo-
sition, the definition of a shifting stock, prices, and costs, and across
the range of climate projections (figs. S1 and S5 to S7).
Individual stock projections—current status matters
Although Full Adaptation results in a global win across nearly all
RCPs and all three indicators, not all individual stocks see improve-
ments relative to today (Table1). Whether a stock benefits in the
future relative to today from climate-adaptive and proactive manage-
ment depends on both ecosystem changes (projected magnitude and
direction of productivity and range changes) and the fishery’s current
status. To highlight the role of current stock status, we categorize
each species into one of four groups: (i) Healthy, (ii) Emerging, (iii)
Recovering, and (iv) Overfished (see Fig.5 for definitions). Under
Full Adaptation, nearly all Healthy stocks see a decrease in biomass by
2100, because this group is currently underexploited relative to its
maximum potential production. Although biomass decreases for these
stocks, there is an increase in harvest as the species become fully ex-
ploited. Emerging stocks will almost exclusively see harvest decreases,
even when climate change is inconsequential, because these stocks are
currently in a “fishing down” period with harvests significantly higher
than their MSY. Most Recovering stocks see increases in biomass and
harvest, since stock recovery supports higher yields after the stock is
rebuilt and subsequently fished sustainably. Most Overfished stocks
see declines in harvest but increases in biomass, as current harvest
levels are unsustainably high. Although only 22% of stocks will ex-
perience future increases in both harvest and biomass, this subgroup
Fig. 2. Percentage of species stocks that move into, out of, or both into and
out of one or more countries’ EEZs by 2100 for each RCP.
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includes some of the highest-yield stocks and cumulatively makes up
about half of the total global yield.
Climate change will have diverse impacts on marine ecosystems and
resources. Prior projections that climate change could reduce global
fisheries revenues by as much as $10 billion a year compared to today
garnered significant attention (4). However, taking human responses
into account shifts our view of climate change and the world’s oceans.
We show that the future of global fisheries could actually be more
prosperous than today, but only if management reforms addressing
current mismanagement and looming challenges from climate change
are implemented in the near future across a wide range of fisheries.
This is true both globally and for nearly half of the individual stocks
analyzed. The future of fisheries, however, could also be much worse
than prior projections suggested if appropriate adaptations to poten-
tial productivity changes and climate-driven movement of species
across management boundaries are not made. Maladaptive responses
to the pending loss of a fishery or the arrival of a new fishery could
exacerbate the previously projected direct effects of climate change.
These results suggest that climate change will force global fisheries
to an important crossroads over the coming decades. Either we meet
the challenges proactively with effective management or we risk un-
doing the significant progress that has been made in some countries
(17, 18) and further decimating fisheries in countries that have not yet
enacted sound fishery reforms. The enormous contrasts between the
four future management scenarios we explored suggest that the choice
of management path will have profound consequences. One necessary
choice will be how to reform current harvest policies. The possibility
of a more prosperous future despite climate change depends on cap-
turing the large untapped benefits from improving currently mis-
managed fisheries.
Our analyses suggest that the benefits of enacting reforms today are
cumulatively large enough to counter the future deleterious im-
pacts of projected changes in fisheries productivity for most RCPs.
Achieving this improved outcome is no small task since it involves
reforms for many stocks with distinct fishery characteristics, each
often fished by multiple countries. Management that flexibly adapts
to productivity changes may require more frequent data collection
and management updates, which can be costly. Fortunately, three
factors help make a more prosperous future less daunting. First, case
studies suggest that reform is possible for a range of fishery types,
including high seas, large-scale, small-scale, data-rich, and data- poor.
Pons et al. (19) found that high seas stocks under some form of man-
agement (generally commercially important species such as tuna)
have shown improvements in biomass and decreases in fishing mor-
tality over the last 10 years. In addition, management reforms in both
large-scale fisheries (for example, Peru’s individual vessel quota re-
form for the anchoveta fishery) and small-scale fisheries (for example,
fishery reforms in Mexico and Chile) suggest that reform is possible
in many contexts, although specific interventions might vary depend-
ing on fishery characteristics (17, 20). These examples also suggest that
even countries with more limited resources are capable of greatly
improving their fisheries management. Second, the necessary fishery
reforms do not require the threat of climate change as motivation.
Adaptive harvest rules that respond to available biomass can provide
large benefits in both static and changing climates (5, 21). Therefore,
reforms motivated purely by benefits today may also help buffer
against negative productivity changes in the future. The third factor
promoting improved global outcomes is the highly skewed distri-
bution of fishery sizes. Because of the large variation in stock sizes,
Fig. 3. Differences in harvest, profit, and biomass, relative to “No Adaptation” for RCP 6.0 in 2100 (see fig. S1 for results under the other RCPs).
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a large percentage of the potential global economic gains in this study
can be achieved through the targeted reform of large overfished stocks.
In our analysis, less than 10% of global stocks would need to adopt
the most comprehensive reforms for future global profit to exceed
current global profit. Therefore, although achieving the full benefits of
global fisheries reform is an ambitious goal, strategic targeting of re-
form efforts could still generate major global benefits. Furthermore,
a targeting approach that incorporates fishery size, value, and vulner-
ability to climate change may help to efficiently direct resources toward
fisheries with the greatest potential for improved outcomes.
The second decision we will have to make is how to respond to
shifting ranges. Spatial shifts across management boundaries can
undermine well-designed policies and render promising manage-
ment approaches unsuccessful. Transboundary fisheries already pose
significant management challenges today and are often in worse shape
than fisheries that reside entirely within individual countries’ waters
(22, 23). As stocks begin to move more extensively, effective bilateral
and multilateral cooperation will become increasingly important for
effective management (12). Stock movement is ultimately beneficial
to one country and detrimental to another, which changes the in-
centives to cooperate in effective management (24, 25). Spatial shifts
within a single country may also pose management challenges as
stocks shift into and out of regional management zones—for example,
the ongoing challenges from spatial shifts observed in stocks along
the northeast United States (26). Designing institutions to address
this inherently human challenge will be crucial given the extent of
projected movement of fish stocks and the potentially enormous costs
of inadequate responses. While it is encouraging that spatial and tem-
poral stock structure is already measured in some cases, the existence
of this information does not guarantee that this information will in-
fluence management decisions. In addition, accurately predicting
where and when fish distributions will shift may be difficult. There-
fore, international institutions and agreements will need to be flexi-
ble and robust in the face of uncertainty to effectively cope with these
management disruptions as they arise. Improved international collabo-
ration will be needed to adequately address climate-induced threats not
only to fisheries but also to other natural resources for which climate
change will have spatial and transboundary implications (27).
Finally, although management responses can more than offset
the projected direct effects of climate change on fisheries to create a
more prosperous global future, there are three important qualifiers
to this optimistic note. First, there are other potential direct (for ex-
ample, acidification and other challenges to ocean productivity) and
indirect (for example, novel species interactions) impacts of climate
change that are not addressed by this analysis. These impacts will be
important for assessing climate effects on fisheries at the local scale.
Second, not everyone will share in these benefits. Globally, profits,
yields, and biomass could increase, but for about half of the world’s
individual fisheries, this better future appears unattainable. Even un-
der the most optimistic scenario for human responses, roughly half of
the world’s fisheries are projected to decline under a moderate climate
Fig. 4. Percent difference in biomass, harvest, and profit relative to today across RCP scenarios. Each color represents a different management scenario.
Table 1. Percentage of stocks where biomass, harvest, or profit is
higher in the future (2100) than today when Full Adaptation is
RCP 2.6 RCP 4.5 RCP 6.0 RCP 8.5
Biomass 68.6% 67.2% 65.5% 57.3%
Harvest 42.2% 40.3% 37.6% 25.7%
Profit 55.0% 52.2% 48.6% 32.9%
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change scenario (RCP 6.0). Most latitudes in the tropics are not ex-
pected to obtain higher profits in the future compared to today under
RCP 6.0 even with fully adaptive management (fig. S9). The distribu-
tion of winners and losers warrants considerably more attention to
anticipate and potentially offset the likely food and livelihood losses
that could ensue. Finally, future outcomes depend critically on the
pace and magnitude of climate change. Under the most extreme
scenario, RCP 8.5, both profit and harvest decline relative to today
even under the most optimistic assumptions about global fisheries
management reforms. This result highlights the fact that the future
of fisheries will depend largely on activities that occur outside of the
fishing industry and the importance of greenhouse gas emission miti-
gation (28). For fisheries to realize their potential, it is critical for the
global community to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions; other-
wise, even the most ambitious fishery reforms will fall short. Therefore,
a more prosperous future for fisheries depends on both mitigation
of climate change and proactive fisheries management reforms.
We examined the implications of climate change and management
reform for 779 species stocks and 136 NEI stocks (mixed-species
fisheries aggregated at the country level) located across the globe
(see the Supplementary Materials for aggregation methods). To make
these projections, we required estimates of the fishery’s current status
and level of exploitation, as well as data on the current species’ dis-
tribution to forecast responses to climate velocity. To conform to the
spatial resolution of the climate velocity model, we modeled each
species as a single “stock” and referred to these as “species stocks.”
The 779 species stocks are comparatively data-rich relative to the
global pool of fisheries. To explore a more globally representative
sample, we also included 136 stocks aggregated at the country level
that represent NEI stocks, as defined in Costello et al. (5). Each stock’s
parameters, which include current biomass, fishing mortality rate, and
carrying capacity, were determined through an aggregation method
(see the Supplementary Materials) that calculates aggregated stock
parameters using individual fisheries in a global fisheries database
(5). Using recently published estimates of current stock status paired
with bioeconomic projection models, rather than solely exploring
changes in maximum potential productivity [for example, (4, 29)], we
examined how benefits and costs from potential management change s
compare to potential losses from direct climate-driven changes.
We modeled future (2015–2100) species distributions by project-
ing changes from current (2012) presence-absence species distribu-
tion maps derived from AquaMaps (30) at 5-year intervals using a
slightly modified version of the climate velocity model described in
García Molinos et al. (3). This method assumes that species ranges
track climate, expanding or contracting their range to keep up with
changes in their thermal niche, conditioned to their inferred thermal
and depth tolerances. To improve on the original model (3), species’
trajectories were restricted based on the species’ depth range (30)
using global bathymetry data (ETOPO2v2 2-Minute Gridded Global
Relief Data). Briefly, each cell within a species’ range was spatially pro-
jected forward in time based on corresponding mean annual sea sur-
face temperature isotherm trajectories (31). Isotherm trajectories were
dictated by the speed and direction of cell-specific climate velocities
Fig. 5. Difference in harvest and biomass under the Full Adaptation strategy in 2100 relative to today for RCP 6.0. The bubble size corresponds to current MSY, and
the colors indicate fishery category based on current biomass and fishing mortality rate relative to BMSY and FMSY, respectively. The fishery categories are defined as follows:
Healthy (F/FMSY < 1, B/BMSY ≥ 1), Emerging (F/FMSY ≥ 1, B/BMSY ≥ 1), Recovering (F/FMSY < 1, B/BMSY < 1), and Overfished (F/FMSY ≥ 1, B/BMSY < 1). A transparent bubble indicates a
decrease in maximum sustainable yield in 2100 relative to today, whereas a solid bubble indicates an increase (see fig. S2 for results under the other RCPs). MT, metric tons.
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(32), based on multimodel ensemble means for the four Intergovern-
mental Panel on Climate Change RCPs: 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5 (see the
Supplementary Materials). Species’ ranges were recalculated at the
end of each 5-year interval based on those trajectories and species’
thermal tolerance and depth range (see the Supplementary Materials).
Next, we converted projected changes in range size to changes in
carrying capacity for each species stock over time (see the Supple-
mentary Materials). An annual carrying capacity was calculated by in-
terpolating between each 5-year interval. These changes in carrying
capacity then drove predictable changes in maximum sustainable
yield. Changes in range size cannot be projected for NEI stocks using
the same methodologies, since they are composites of several spe-
cies. To determine the carrying capacity trajectory for NEI stocks,
we first aggregated total range by nation (including all species with
range in a given nation) for each 5-year interval and then interpo-
lated to obtain the annual aggregate range values for each nation.
We then calculated annual changes in aggregate range for each na-
tion, relative to year 2012. These relative changes were then applied
to NEI stock carrying capacities. Finally, we projected future bio-
mass, harvest, and profit under different management and climate
scenarios using a bioeconomic model (5). This modeling approach
was modified from the original by incorporating the unique stream of
future carrying capacity values over time for each species and NEI
stock (see the Supplementary Materials). Each year, biomass was calcu-
lated using a modified Pella-Tomlinson surplus production model, in-
corporating the projected carrying capacity in each time step (33) and
the appropriate fishing mortality rate for the policy being modeled.
Supplementary material for this article is available at
Supplementary Materials and Methods
Supplementary Text
Fig. S1. Differences in harvest, profit, and biomass relative to No Adaptation for all RCPs.
Fig. S2. Differences in harvest and biomass under a Full Adaptation strategy in 2100 relative to
today for all RCPs.
Fig. S3. Temporal changes in thermal envelopes within projected species ranges.
Fig. S4. Scatterplot and resulting regression lines from the linear models fitting biomass
change to range size change for 11 unexploited marine species.
Fig. S5. Effect of the choice of different carrying capacity/range size ratios on harvest, profit,
and biomass for each management alternative relative to No Adaptation for RCP 6.0.
Fig. S6. Differences in harvest, profit, and biomass relative to No Adaptation for all RCPs.
Fig. S7. Differences in harvest, profit, and biomass relative to No Adaptation for different
assumptions regarding prices and costs under RCP 6.0.
Fig. S8. Differences in harvest, profit, and biomass relative to No Adaptation for all RCPs.
Fig. S9. Differences in profit by latitude.
Table S1. RCPs considered in this study along with the models used for computation of
respective mean ensembles.
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Acknowledgments: We thank K. Kaschner and C. Garilao for providing the AquaMaps
distribution and depth preference data for the species used in the projections. We also thank
M. Pinsky for providing helpful feedback on the manuscript. Funding: The authors
acknowledge funding for this work from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust;
the Waitt Family Foundation; the “Tenure-Track System Promotion Program” of the Japanese
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology (MEXT); and the David and
Lucile Packard Foundation. Author contributions: S.D.G. and C.C. designed the study. J.G.M.
refined the climate velocity model and ran climate velocity simulations. H.D. conducted
research and performed analyses on the relationship between range and carrying capacity.
B.O. and T.M. developed the bioeconomic model and methods with the supervision of S.D.G.
and C.C. and prepared all data for use in the bioeconomic model. B.O., T.M., J.B., J.G.M., S.D.G.,
and H.D. performed the analyses in the manuscript and the Supplementary Materials. B.O.,
T.M., J.B., J.G.M., and S.D.G. prepared the graphics. S.D.G., B.O., T.M., and J.B. co-wrote the paper
with advice and guidance from C.C., D.O., B.S.H., C.V.K., M.B., and K.M.K. All authors contributed
to this work, read the manuscript and the Supplementary Materials, and provided edits to
these documents. Competing interests: C.C. is a trustee for Environmental Defense Fund and
Global Fishing Watch, is senior fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, and is
a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. S.D.G. is a trustee of the
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Rare, the Resources Legacy Fund, and COMPASS.
All other authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials
availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper
and/or the Supplementary Materials. Species distribution maps can be accessed through the
AquaMaps portal ( Additional data related to this paper may be
requested from the authors.
Submitted 17 June 2017
Accepted 20 July 2018
Published 29 August 2018
Citation: S. D. Gaines, C. Costello, B. Owashi, T. Mangin, J. Bone, J. G. Molinos, M. Burden,
H. Dennis, B. S. Halpern, C. V. Kappel, K. M. Kleisner, D. Ovando, Improved fisheries management
could offset many negative effects of climate change. Sci. Adv. 4, eaao1378 (2018).
on August 30, 2018 from
Improved fisheries management could offset many negative effects of climate change
Burden, Heather Dennis, Benjamin S. Halpern, Carrie V. Kappel, Kristin M. Kleisner and Daniel Ovando
Steven D. Gaines, Christopher Costello, Brandon Owashi, Tracey Mangin, Jennifer Bone, Jorge García Molinos, Merrick
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1378
(8), eaao1378.4Sci Adv
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... Climate change's influence on fisheries is increasingly recognized in global policies due to its anticipated effects on fish species, overall catch volume, and economic returns from fishing (Bindoff et al., 2019;Free et al., 2020). The solutions to these challenges can only be universally applied if the impacts vary regionally (Cheung et al., 2010;Cheung et al., 2013;Gaines et al., 2018). Alarmingly, countries heavily reliant on fish for sustenance, often economically challenged, are projected to face the most significant setbacks (Gaines et al., 2018;Golden et al., 2016;Blasiak et al., 2017;Monnereau et al., 2017;Bindoff et al., 2019). ...
... The solutions to these challenges can only be universally applied if the impacts vary regionally (Cheung et al., 2010;Cheung et al., 2013;Gaines et al., 2018). Alarmingly, countries heavily reliant on fish for sustenance, often economically challenged, are projected to face the most significant setbacks (Gaines et al., 2018;Golden et al., 2016;Blasiak et al., 2017;Monnereau et al., 2017;Bindoff et al., 2019). Adhering to the Paris Agreement's emission reduction goals can lessen these adverse effects. ...
... Moreover, ecosystems under high fishing pressures are generally more susceptible to detrimental effects of climate change (Planque et al., 2010;Gaines et al., 2018). A recent modelling study revealed that if the current level of exploitation persists within the area, ocean warming will tremendously damage trophic structure and decrease ecosystem productivity, consequently leading to large losses in fisheries yields (Yin et al., submitted). ...
... Due to limitations in the model and data, we restricted to account for differences in administrative costs of executing alternative strategies within simulations. For instance, the "HCR" approach that flexibly responds to changes in biomass requires more frequent data collection and management revisions, entailing potential expenses (Gaines et al., 2018). Besides, the profits expected to be gained in the future might not hold the same value as equivalent profits in the present (Attema et al., 2018). ...
... Past research has focused on generating projections of where and when future shifts are likely to occur, including identifying hotspots of climate-induced stock shifts, or regions where ocean conditions are rapidly changing and expected to significantly alter fish stock distribution and abundance in the near future [13,15,40,47,68,75,91]. Further work has explored the current and future challenges that fisheries management and governance bodies will inevitably face as a result of species on the move [17,25,26,29,31,41,57,58,64,67,72,76,91,92]. ...
... When considering shifts of fish stocks from an EEZ to adjacent high seas, a key consideration for conflict formation is whether the relevant fish stocks are governed under RFMOs, which oversee management and accounting of internationally shared stocks. The ways in which redistributed fisheries resources are assessed, allocated and managed can have negative repercussions for food security [41,95], equity [36,64], and the general wellbeing of fish-dependent nations around the world [29], all of which are considered in the case studies and analyses that follow. ...
... Particularly for countries where seafood nutrient availability is at risk under climate change, marine fisheries and mariculture should incorporate goals and strategies that can help fill the increasing gaps in nutrient production. Adapting fisheries management to account for species range shifts and productivity is expected to increase fishing yields and profits 33 , and, similarly, implementation of nutrient-based fisheries governance 34 and management 35 approaches would limit projected impacts to nutrient availability. Managing and developing fisheries and aquaculture for ...
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Seafood is an important source of bioavailable micronutrients supporting human health, yet it is unclear how micronutrient production has changed in the past or how climate change will influence its availability. Here combining reconstructed fisheries databases and predictive models, we assess nutrient availability from fisheries and mariculture in the past and project their futures under climate change. Since the 1990s, availabilities of iron, calcium and omega-3 from seafood for direct human consumption have increased but stagnated for protein. Under climate change, nutrient availability is projected to decrease disproportionately in tropical low-income countries that are already highly dependent on seafood-derived nutrients. At 4 oC of warming, nutrient availability is projected to decline by ~30% by 2100 in low income countries, while at 1.5–2.0 oC warming, decreases are projected to be ~10%. We demonstrate the importance of effective mitigation to support nutritional security of vulnerable nations and global health equity.
... Some attributes of resilience have been described in the fisheries literature, although they may not have been identified as such. For example, research has highlighted how climate-adaptive fisheries science and management approaches can reduce negative consequences of climate change (Bell et al., 2020;Burden & Fujita, 2019;Gaines et al., 2018;Holsman et al., 2019), but defined attributes of resilience specific to fisheries management are not clearly identified. Additionally, participatory approaches are being promoted to boost social resilience by integrating multiple perspectives and goals that extend from community to international scales (Carroll et al., 2023;Heenan et al., 2015;Mills et al., 2023). ...
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... Management must consider the additive or synergistic effects of both fishing pressure as well as ocean-warming-induced changes in productivity and geographic distribution of fish populations. For example, fishing effort may be reduced on stocks that are overexploited and/or are shifting the trailing edge of their geographic distribution away from historically fished areas as they track their thermal affinity (Szuwalski & Hollowed, 2016;Gaines et al., 2018;Lamine et al., 2022). In the present study, this may apply to the cold-water southern bluefin tuna, which displays strong reductions in overall catch from the 1970s onward (Fig. 6C). ...
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Historical fishing effort has resulted, in many parts of the ocean, in increasing catches of smaller, lower trophic level species once larger higher trophic level species have been depleted. Concurrently, changes in the geographic distribution of marine species have been observed as species track their thermal affinity in line with ocean warming. However, geographic shifts in fisheries, including to deeper waters, may conceal the phenomenon of fishing down the food web and effects of climate warming on fish stocks. Fisheries-catch weighted metrics such as the Mean Trophic Level (MTL) and Mean Temperature of the Catch (MTC) are used to investigate these phenomena, although apparent trends of these metrics can be masked by the aforementioned geographic expansion and deepening of fisheries catch across large areas and time periods. We investigated instances of both fishing down trophic levels and climate-driven changes in the geographic distribution of fished species in New Zealand waters from 1950-2019, using the MTL and MTC. Thereafter, we corrected for the masking effect of the geographic expansion of fisheries within these indices by using the Fishing-in-Balance (FiB) index and the adapted Mean Trophic Level (aMTL) index. Our results document the offshore expansion of fisheries across the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 1950-2019, as well as the pervasiveness of fishing down within nearshore fishing stock assemblages. We also revealed the warming of the MTC for pelagic-associated fisheries, trends that were otherwise masked by the depth-and geographic expansion of New Zealand fisheries across the study period.
... In addition, other goals include the conservation of marine populations and maintaining the ecosystem that leads to economic viability as well as preserving employment opportunities. It is anticipated that fisheries could supply more food for humans and generate more profits while at the same time accelerating the number of populations of ocean and guaranteeing freshwater wildlife in the future [31]. Furthermore, managing fisheries is also key to achieving most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including ending poverty everywhere, stopping hunger by achieving food security and improving nutrition, safeguarding vulnerable populations, building sustainable livelihoods, and protecting marine biodiversity and ecosystems [32]. ...
The unscientific disposal of the most abundant crustacean wastes, especially those derived from marine sources, affects both the economy and the environment. Strategic waste collection and management are in need of the hour. Sustainable valorization approaches are played a crucial role in solving those issues as well as generating wealth from waste. The shellfishery wastes are rich in valuable bioactive compounds such as chitin, chitosan, minerals, carotenoids, lipids, and other amino acid derivatives. These value-added components possessed pleiotropic applications in different sectors viz., food, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, agro-industrial, healthcare, and pharmaceutical sectors. The manuscript covers the recent status, scopes of shellfishery management, and different bioactive compounds obtained from crustacean wastes. In addition, both sustainable and conventional routes of valorization approaches were discussed with their merits and demerits along with their combinations. The utilization of nano and microtechnology was also included in the discussion, as they are becoming prominent research areas in recent years. More importantly, the future perspectives of crustacean waste management and other potential valorization approaches that can be implemented on a large scale.
... Alternatively, if species within a complex have convergent (similar) responses to climate change, then this could weaken portfolio effects and impair the resilience of the multispecies complex to fishing pressure (19,20). Last, climate change could drive species into new areas where they are effectively unregulated and vulnerable to extensive harvest, which may reduce the species' ability to keep pace with the velocity of environmental change (21). ...
Climate change drives species distribution shifts, affecting the availability of resources people rely upon for food and livelihoods. These impacts are complex, manifest at local scales, and have diverse effects across multiple species. However, for wild capture fisheries, current understanding is dominated by predictions for individual species at coarse spatial scales. We show that species-specific responses to localized environmental changes will alter the collection of co-occurring species within established fishing footprints along the U.S. West Coast. We demonstrate that availability of the most economically valuable, primary target species is highly likely to decline coastwide in response to warming and reduced oxygen concentrations, while availability of the most abundant, secondary target species will potentially increase. A spatial reshuffling of primary and secondary target species suggests regionally heterogeneous opportunities for fishers to adapt by changing where or what they fish. Developing foresight into the collective responses of species at local scales will enable more effective and tangible adaptation pathways for fishing communities.
... An interest in population trajectory and body size is not limited to academic investigations, it clearly has societal ramifications with direct implications to resource utilization. The goal of fisheries management is the maintenance of yield through the control of spawning stock size and fishing rates, both of which are generally measured in biomass and thus mediated by abundances of all species and individual body sizes (Gaines et al., 2018;Hilborn et al., 2020). Fishing gears operate with some measure of size selectivity, thus an evolution of the size spectra of target and non-target species will undoubtedly affect the efficiency of fishery operations (Dean et al., 2021). ...
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Spatial boundaries have become an indispensable part of regimes and tools for regulating fisheries, with examples including marine protected areas, regional fisheries management organizations and Exclusive Economic Zones. Yet, it is also widely acknowledged that boundaries are a social construct, which may be resisted by both fishers and fish ecology. The ensuing spatial and institutional mismatches have been shown to frustrate management efforts, exacerbating issues of non-compliance and ultimately leading to conflicts and overfishing. Interestingly, the often static and rigid nature of these boundaries has also led to a concomitant research interest in ‘transboundary’. This paradoxical situation of more boundary-setting entailing more transboundary thinking warrants a deeper understanding about boundaries and the role of transboundary research in fisheries. The aims of this review article are twofold: (1) a theoretical clarification on the meanings and uses of spatial boundaries drawing on geographical “boundary studies” literature; and (2) a construction of a typology that outlines how transboundary research is being articulated and envisioned. Together, the study reveals that transboundary scholarship in fisheries are mostly related to resources, fleets, trade and governance aspects and that dealing with the “boundary paradox” encompasses re-incorporating, re-scaling and re-imagining of boundaries. This article provides a conceptual basis for reflecting upon boundaries in world's fisheries and opens up discussions for a more nuanced boundary application that can better cope with multi-level interactions and dynamicity.
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Previous studies highlight the winners and losers in fisheries under climate change based on shifts in biomass, species composition and potential catches. Understanding how climate change is likely to alter the fisheries revenues of maritime countries is a crucial next step towards the development of effective socio-economic policy and food sustainability strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Particularly, fish prices and cross-oceans connections through distant water fishing operations may largely modify the projected climate change impacts on fisheries revenues. However, these factors have not formally been considered in global studies. Here, using climate-living marine resources simulation models, we show that global fisheries revenues could drop by 35% more than the projected decrease in catches by the 2050 s under high CO2 emission scenarios. Regionally, the projected increases in fish catch in high latitudes may not translate into increases in revenues because of the increasing dominance of low value fish, and the decrease in catches by these countries’ vessels operating in more severely impacted distant waters. Also, we find that developing countries with high fisheries dependency are negatively impacted. Our results suggest the need to conduct full-fledged economic analyses of the potential economic effects of climate change on global marine fisheries.
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Commercial tunas and billfishes (swordfish, marlins and sailfish) provide considerable catches and income in both developed and developing countries. These stocks vary in status from lightly exploited to rebuilding to severely depleted. Previous studies suggested that this variability could result from differences in life-history characteristics and economic incentives, but differences in exploitation histories and management measures also have a strong effect on current stock status. Although the status (biomass and fishing mortality rate) of major tuna and billfish stocks is well documented, the effect of these diverse factors on current stock status and the effect of management measures in rebuilding stocks have not been analysed at the global level. Here, we show that, particularly for tunas, stocks were more depleted if they had high commercial value, were long-lived species, had small pre-fishing biomass and were subject to intense fishing pressure for a long time. In addition, implementing and enforcing total allowable catches (TACs) had the strongest positive influence on rebuilding overfished tuna and billfish stocks. Other control rules such as minimum size regulations or seasonal closures were also important in reducing fishing pressure, but stocks under TAC implementations showed the fastest increase of biomass. Lessons learned from this study can be applied in managing large industrial fisheries around the world. In particular, tuna regional fisheries management organizations should consider the relative effectiveness of management measures observed in this study for rebuilding depleted large pelagic stocks.
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Significance What would extensive fishery reform look like? In addition, what would be the benefits and trade-offs of implementing alternative approaches to fisheries management on a worldwide scale? To find out, we assembled the largest-of-its-kind database and coupled it to state-of-the-art bioeconomic models for more than 4,500 fisheries around the world. We find that, in nearly every country of the world, fishery recovery would simultaneously drive increases in food provision, fishery profits, and fish biomass in the sea. Our results suggest that a suite of approaches providing individual or communal access rights to fishery resources can align incentives across profit, food, and conservation so that few trade-offs will have to be made across these objectives in selecting effective policy interventions.
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When a fish stock shifts from one nation to another nation, e.g., due to climate change, the nation that loses the resource has incentives to deplete it, while the other nation, receiving the resource, has incentives to conserve it. We propose an analytical model to study under which circumstances self-enforcing agreements can align incentives. Our setup allows to distinguish between a fast and a slow shift and between a smooth or a sudden shift in ownership. We show that the shorter the expected duration of the transition, the higher the total equilibrium exploitation rate. Similarly, a sudden shift implies—by and large—more aggressive non-cooperative exploitation than a gradual shift. However, a self-enforcing agreement without side-payments is more likely for a sudden than for a smooth shift. Further, the scope for cooperation increases with the expected duration of the transition, and it decreases with the renewability of the resource and the discount rate. Most importantly, we show that concentrating on in-kind transfers can be very detrimental for shifting renewable resources: In some cases, there is no efficient bargaining solution without side-payments, even when there are only two players.
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Anticipating the effect of climate change on biodiversity, in particular on changes in community composition, is crucial for adaptive ecosystem management(1) but remains a critical knowledge gap(2). Here, we use climate velocity trajectories(3), together with information on thermal tolerances and habitat preferences, to project changes in global patterns of marine species richness and community composition under IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways(4) (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. Our simple, intuitive approach emphasizes climate connectivity, and enables us to model over 12 times as many species as previous studies(5,6). We find that range expansions prevail over contractions for both RCPs up to 2100, producing a net local increase in richness globally, and temporal changes in composition, driven by the redistribution rather than the loss of diversity. Conversely, widespread invasions homogenize present-day communities across multiple regions. High extirpation rates are expected regionally (for example, Indo-Pacific), particularly under RCP8.5, leading to strong decreases in richness and the anticipated formation of no-analogue communities where invasions are common. The spatial congruence of these patterns with contemporary human impacts(7,8) highlights potential areas of future conservation concern. These results strongly suggest that the millennial stability of current global marine diversity patterns, against which conservation plans are assessed, will change rapidly over the course of the century in response to ocean warming.
La profesion –formacion- docente es un tema crucial en los actuales debates educativos. La existencia de dos decretos y el desplazamiento del verdadero sentido del ser maestro reclaman de los analisis un ejercicio de comprension del orden discursivo oficial. La calidad es el sustrato de la sociedad de control. En este marco se agencia nuevas practicas de subjetivacion del maestro los cuales podriamos situar en la calidad, flexibilidad, adaptabilidad, eficiencia, eficacia. En cualquier caso, el esfuerzo por hacer del maestro un intelectual de la educacion fue borrado. La gran cuestion consiste en saber que discursos regula el saber del docente a la luz de la sociedad de control.
The responses of animals and plants to recent climate change vary greatly from species to species, but attempts to understand this variation have met with limited success. This has led to concerns that predictions of responses are inherently uncertain because of the complexity of interacting drivers and biotic interactions. However, we show for an exemplar group of 155 Lepidoptera species that about 60% of the variation among species in their abundance trends over the past four decades can be explained by species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change. Distribution changes were less well predicted, but nonetheless, up to 53% of the variation was explained. We found that species vary in their overall sensitivity to climate and respond to different components of the climate despite ostensibly experiencing the same climate changes. Hence, species have undergone different levels of population " forcing " (exposure), driving variation among species in their national-scale abundance and distribution trends. We conclude that variation in species' responses to recent climate change may be more predictable than previously recognized.