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APFIC/FAO Regional consultative workshop “Implications of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture: challenges for adaptation and mitigation in the Asia-Pacific Region”

Category Ecosystems, habitats, environments & climate change

FAO (2011) APFIC/FAO Regional consultative workshop “Implications of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture: challenges for adaptation and mitigation in the Asia-Pacific Region” 24–26 May 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. RAP Publication 2011/17, 52 pp. 

It is now widely recognized that the effects of climate change will impact the fisheries sector, and result in increased uncertainty in the supply of fish from capture fisheries and aquaculture. The warming of the sea surface, river and lakes, changing precipitation, water salinity and ocean acidity and sea level rise will have an effect on marine, coastal and inland environments, producing changes in habitats, stocks and species distribution. Long-term and cyclical fluctuations in marine environments and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as excessive rainfall, cyclones and droughts, will certainly have an impact on the supply of fish and fisheries products. Food quality may also be threatened with the increased risk of species invasions and the spreading of vector-borne diseases. Nevertheless, there may also be positive impacts like access to new species and new markets as a result of climatic change.

Trying to understand the challenges as well as the opportunities that may arise in future scenarios, member countries of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) and regional organizations have convened this technical workshop with the purpose of reviewing their mitigation and adaptation strategies for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. As expected for a region as diverse as Asia and the Pacific, the focus and priorities of the countries vary according to the variety of issues that might affect them. The workshop nonetheless identified shared concerns such as the lack of understanding of the effects that climate change could have in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and the insufficient capacity available to deal with such effects in the region. Member countries further underlined the need for integration of the fishery and aquaculture sectors into the national climate change planning process.

This workshop report provides recommendations for member countries and partner organizations to take timely actions to address climate change issues related to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. These cover the strengthening of climate change related policies for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, the allocation of financial resources, the strengthening of governance and the use of integrated management approaches and monitoring tools. The workshop highlighted the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, especially the most vulnerable. These recommendations aim to strengthen the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Asia and the Pacific region by promoting better preparedness for climate related change.