New research from the University of British Columbia published in Scientific Reports suggested that the global fisheries industry could lose $ 10 billion in annual revenues by 2050 if climate change continues unabated.
According to the study, climate change has a critical impact on the conditions that affect the fisheries industry, such as rising temperatures, and changes in ocean salinity, acidity and oxygen levels. These effects are expected to result in decreased yields, the study said, which compares incomes recorded in the year 2000, and projections into 2050.
"Developing countries most dependent on fisheries for food and revenue will be hardest hit. It is necessary to implement better marine resource management plans to increase stock resilience to climate change," observed Vicky Lam, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and the study's lead author.
So quarters tout aquaculture, also known as fish farming, as an alternative to mitigate the effect of climate change on the fisheries industry, specifically to ease the financial losses and improve food security under new climate conditions. Still, research shows it could worsen the situation for fisher folk.
"Climate adaptation programs such as aquaculture development may be seen as a solution," William Cheung, associate professor at UBC and a study co-author, explained. "However, rather than easing the financial burden of fishing losses and improving food security, it may drive down the price of seafood, leading to further decreases in fisheries revenues."