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FOL publishes a new study on tropical tuna fisheries and climate change

As part of her PhD, FOL member Iratxe leads a new publication within the CLOCK project

21/02/2020 -

Marine ecosystems have already been impacted by climate change. It is generally accepted that these impacts affect the productivity, fish distribution, habitat and marine diversity. However, it is hardly known how fisheries respond to these changes. In order to understand how fisheries are responding to ocean warming, researchers from the Future Oceans Lab at CIMUniversity of Vigo, the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), CSIRO and Marine Support investigate the distribution of purse seiners activity in the East Atlantic Ocean. The new publication shows the spatiotemporal trends of tropical tuna fisheries in the central-eastern Atlantic Ocean and finds that fleet activity shifted southward from the equator over the studied period (1991-2017). A mix of climate change, institutional, management and technological factors explain the observed shifts, but strikingly management and institutional settings are the most powerful factors to offset climate change distribution impacts on these fisheries. These findings support management as a crucial tool to reach sustainable fisheries, which undergo serious threats apart from over-exploitation or pollution, which is the case of the ongoing climate change.

This work was developed within the European Research Council funded project CLOCK (Climate Adaptation to Shifting Stocks), as part of the PhD research by Iratxe Rubio, and coordinated by Dr. Elena Ojea. It was a collaborative work with Dr. Unai Ganzedo from Marine Support S.L. and Dr. Alistair Hobday from CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and the Centre for Marine Socioecology (University of Tasmania). Check out the article  in Fish and Fisheries titled “Southward re‐distribution of tropical tuna fisheries activity can be explained by technological and management change”. It is available in open access and so is a GitHub repository with the code.





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CATEGORIES: Clock, Collaborations, Elena Ojea, Future Oceans Lab, Iratxe Rubio, PhD, Research, Results