FAO Workshop Analyses Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Pacific

22 June 2012. Being part of the climate system, oceans are particularly sensitive to climate change. Expected impacts include global sea level rise, decreases in sea-ice cover and changes in salinity, wave conditions, and ocean circulation, which in turn will have an impact on the biological productivity of marine ecosystems. To raise awareness of the implications for fisheries and aquaculture in the Pacific region, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), organized a dedicated workshop, from 5-8 June 2012, in Noumea, New Caledonia.  

The workshop gathered senior fisheries officers and national focal points for climate change in Pacific Island countries and territories, not-for-profit organisations and funding bodies. Participants learned how the plans to optimise the benefits of fisheries and aquaculture for economic development, food security and livelihoods could be affected by climate change, and how the sector can adapt to retain these benefits.

The four-day event aimed at communicating the results of SPC’s recent vulnerability assessment, entitled Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change. Presentations of the key messages by several authors of the book were followed by small group discussions to identify adaptation actions. 

Key priority actions to assist the sector adapt to climate variability, climate change and the risk of natural disasters identified during the workshop are:

  • manage tuna fisheries to conserve stocks;
  • strengthen regional arrangements to cap and trade fishing effort for tuna;
  • diversify sources of tuna for canneries;
  • reduce the energy used by industrial tuna fishing vessels;
  • manage and restore vegetation in catchments to protect coastal fish habitats;
  • keep harvests of coastal fish within sustainable limits;
  • increase access to tuna for coastal communities with inshore fish aggregating devices;
  • develop fisheries for small pelagic fish;
  • expand freshwater pond aquaculture; and
  • improve post-harvest methods.

For further information please visit: http://www.spc.int/en/component/content/article/216-about-spc-news/955-climate-change-fisheries-and-aquaculture-in-the-pacific.html