A powerful new film highlights the stark reality of the impact of climate change on the fishing industry, and the role of sustainable seafood in climate policy

Voices from across the globe call for international action to protect precious marine resources. 

A powerful new documentary highlights the stark reality of the impact of climate change on the fishing industry, and the previously underrecognized role of sustainable seafood in climate policy.    

Fishing for solutions – the climate catastrophe: the time for action is now, is a Farelight Productions creation, commissioned by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - the not-for-profit responsible for the world’s largest sustainable seafood certification programme.   

As well as providing first-hand accounts of the impact of climate change on fishers across the globe, the film contains a powerful rallying call to policy makers to tackle the causes of climate change, and agree adaptive, resilient solutions for managing shared fishery resources in the face of profound climate driven shifts in ocean ecosystems.  

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Fish accounts for about 17 percent of animal protein consumed by the global population and provides employment for almost 60 million people (1). Concerningly, hazards presented by climate change pose a major challenge to the businesses, economies and communities that rely on fishing as a source of income and nutrition (2).   

Sustainable fishing has the potential to make fishing operations more resilient to climate change. Many of the key components of sustainable fisheries management also set fisheries up to be more adaptable to change (3). They also have the potential to help reduce carbon emissions by increasing the efficiency with which fish are caught (4). Although individual fisheries have an important role to play in implementing sustainable practices, international cooperation is vital to ensure shared stocks are managed in way that ensures their long-term sustainability.   

Dr Rohan Currey, Chief Science & Standards Officer at the Marine Stewardship Council said: “Climate change is here, it’s real, and it’s impacting our oceans and marine life. The way that we manage fisheries has for so long assumed that the world is static, that’s no longer the case. The world is changing. We can’t keep doing what we have been doing before if we want to ensure there are oceans teaming with life for future generations.  

“Sustainable management of fisheries is part of the solution, however it isn’t enough on its own. Fish don’t follow national boundaries and therefore international cooperation is required. Governments urgently need to set-aside short term self-interest and agree resilient, adaptive management solutions which safeguard our fish stocks and those who rely on them. The time for talking is over, the time for action is now.”  

Speaking in the film, Gus Caslake, from the Cornish Sardine Management Association and Seafish Regional South West Advisor, says that due to the information that fishermen collect they have got a strong understanding of changing conditions. 

“The fishermen are in a unique position to collect that type of data,” he says. “They collect samples of their catches on a weekly basis. They not only measure the catch, they also weigh the catch. So we’ve got an understanding of what is happening year on year. 

“It’s very difficult for fisheries managers to set a level of catch when you’ve got new species coming into an area. We’re seeing a movement in warm water species coming in.” 

Fishing for solutions – the climate catastrophe: the time for action is now” is available to stream for free at: Fishing for Solutions – the Climate Catastrophe: The Time for Action is Now – YouTube. 

Source: Press Release

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New film highlights stark impact of climate change on seafood and fishing industry

by editor time to read: 6 min