The APPG on Fisheries heard about the work from around the world to build climate resilience into fisheries and the coastal communities

The APPG on Fisheries heard about the work from around the world to build climate resilience into fisheries and the coastal communities

On Monday 12 July, the APPG on Fisheries heard about the work of speakers from around the world to build climate resilience into fisheries and the coastal communities that rely on them.

Speakers, Parliamentarians, and attendees drew parallels between the UK sector and experiences from Maine, British Columbia, Australia, Chile and more.

“It was excellent to reflect on the similarities and differences between fisheries around the world and our industry here in the UK,” said Sheryll Murray, Chair of the APPG. “The event provided plenty of food for thought about how we can build climate resilience into our own fisheries and their associated coastal communities.”

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Warming sea temperatures are leading to changes in the distributions and abundances of commercial fish stocks and many other marine species. This raises issues for fishing industries, especially if bound by inflexible management regimes that do not account for these changes. Moreover, climate change is also leading to stormier seas and sea level rise, both of which threaten the welfare of fishing communities. Building resilience involves predicting future changes and accounting for them, so that human and environmental wellbeing are protected as much as possible.

“Sound fisheries management is, and will continue to be, the foundation for success,” said Merrick Burden, Senior Director for Resilient Fisheries & Lead Senior Economist, at EDF. He led attendees through five universal guiding principles for climate-resilient fisheries: sound management and governance; planning for change; enhanced cross-border cooperation; healthy ecosystems; and fairness and equity.

Dr Sarah Harper of the University of Victoria talked about how British Columbia was aiming for ‘climate-ready’ fisheries, emphasising the importance of working together. “Collaboration and partnerships between NGOs, governments, industry and academia are really our best chance to advance climate-resilient fisheries,” she said. Dr Kathy Mills of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute spoke next on how the Maine lobster fishery was incorporating climate resilience through a participatory approach, including fishermen in management decisions.

“We need to use forecasts to understand potential future conditions, and manage fish as if those conditions were already here,” said Dr Alistair Hobday of CSIRO, speaking on how Australia’s fisheries management regime is using predictive models to proactively account for future changes to stock distributions and abundances. On a similar theme, Rubén Pinochet, Chile’s Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, spoke about how Chile, Peru, and Ecuador are co-designing an ecosystem-level observation, prediction and early warning system to inform adaptive management in the Humboldt Current.

In the ensuing discussion, attendees were quick to identify similarities with UK fisheries, and how these case studies from around the world could help inspire efforts towards climate resilience in the UK.

The event was recorded and is available on the APPG website, along with a summary of the panelists’ answers to questions from attendees. The APPG Secretariat will also publish a policy brief detailing the outputs and key messages for the event in the coming weeks. The APPG on Fisheries’ next event will take place in October. Sign up to their newsletter to be the first to hear about the event launch.

Source: Press Release

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Lessons from abroad on building climate resilience in UK fisheries

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