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Coastal zone management needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with climate change
Coastal zone management needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with climate change
Courtesy of NOAA

With respect to climate change adaptation, a response to climate change that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate change effects, FAO has defined six priority action areas for agriculture, forestry and fisheries:

  1. development and application of data and knowledge for impact assessment and adaptation
  2. support and improvement of governance for climate change adaptation
  3. building of livelihood resilience to climate change
  4. targeted approaches for conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity
  5. the identification, support and application of innovative technologies
  6. improved disaster risk management

Fisheries and aquaculture needs to be blended into national climate change adaptation strategies. Without careful planning, aquatic ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture can potentially suffer as a result of adaptation measures applied by other sectors, such as increased use of dams and hydropower in catchments with high rainfall, construction of artificial coastal defenses or marine wind farms.

Buoys measure ocean temperature at varying depths as part of a research project
Buoys measure ocean temperature at varying depths as part of a research project
Courtesy of NOAA

Ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries and coastal management are required to enable critical coastal ecosystems to adapt to the effects of climate change, and to reduce the threats from other environmental stresses. Adaptation measures are well known by managers and decision makers, but political will and action is often lacking. To build resilience to the effects of climate change and derive sustainable benefits, fisheries and aquaculture managers need to adopt and adhere to best practices such as those described in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. These practices need to be integrated more effectively with the management of river basins, watersheds and coastal zones.

 
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