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Opportunities for EbA in Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

©FAO/S. Venturi
25/05/2018 25/05/2018

Scaling up of Adaptation in the Agricultural Sectors (SAAS)

Module 1: Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the agricultural sectors

Webinar 4: Opportunities for EbA in Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Date: Friday, May 25th, 15:00 – 16:30 CEST (UTC +2)

Fisheries and aquaculture are important for food security, employment and social welfare. FAO estimates that 800 million people (10 – 12 percent of the world population) rely on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. Considering the vital role of these sectors to global food production and livelihoods, it is critical to integrate them within climate change adaptation efforts and financing.

On one hand, FAO advances knowledge on climate change through regional, national and community-level climate risk and vulnerability assessments of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. On the other hand, the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) and Aquaculture (EAA) are the recognized frameworks for fisheries and aquaculture management. Both of these approaches provide opportunities for fostering climate change adaptation by highlighting key issues of concern to ensure the achievement of high level fisheries and aquaculture goals and to build the resilience of natural and human systems.

The 4th webinar highlights opportunities for ecosystem-based adaptation in coastal and marine fisheries. More specifically, the webinar is intended to introduce the basic principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries and to highlight opportunities for addressing climate change risks and adaptation considerations. Examples of national and regional experiences will be provided to illustrate on the ground experiences of the ecosystem-based management of coastal and marine fisheries.

Presentations and speakers:

Climate change implications for fisheries and the role of the ecosystem approach to fisheries as support to climate change adaptation

Tarub Bahri, Fishery Resources Officer and Merete Tandstad, EAF-Nansen Programme Coordinator, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

Fisheries is an important livelihood option to different social groups that also contributes to food and nutritional security in developing countries. In addition, fish contribute more to developing countries’ revenue than most agricultural commodities and thus need the most attention for economic growth. Climate change is exerting some challenges on this sector. Increasing water temperature and ocean acidification affect fish production and ecology which in-turn have impacts on fish species distribution and composition, diseases and fish catch rates. The intensity and frequency of sea storms affect fishing operations and thus has implications on safety of fishermen along with fishing infrastructural damage.

In this light, the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) can help fishing communities adapt to climate change. The EAF is the holistic and participatory framework for fisheries management which spans the three pillars of sustainability. In its application, it seeks to maintain ecosystem integrity, improve human well-being and enable good governance.

See Presentation and Recording

Fostering climate change adaptation through Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in the Eastern Caribbean

Iris Monnereau, CC4FISH Project Coordinator, FAO

Fish production in the small island developing states in the Caribbean is important for food security, livelihoods, local employment and foreign exchange for the national governments. However, there is high level of demand that is outpacing the production. The reason for this low production is due to overexploitation, high levels of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the impacts of coastal pollution from non-point sources. In addition to these, climate change is compounding the problem through e.g. coral bleaching, coastal erosion, and an increasing number of high intensity hurricanes. To address these challenges, FAO is implementing a project that aims to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts. The project introduced adaptation measures in fisheries management and carried out the capacity building of fisher-folk and aquaculturists.

See Presentation and Recording

Identification of key issues for the sustainable management of small pelagic fisheries in West Africa through the application of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries

Birane Sambe, Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) project

The presentation aims to showcase an application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) in the development of the regional management framework for pelagic stocks in North Western Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia). The presentation highlights the strategic importance of these fish species in the region for both food security and economic development. Despite this importance, the abundance and catch for these species is dwindling due to unsustainable fishing activities and some environmental factors that include climate change. To address this, it was realized that, an adaptive management for these fish species was needed at the regional level to try to harmonize different management objectives among different countries in the sub-region.

To this end, a regional management framework for small pelagic was developed. The intent is to ensure the sustainability of these important resources, to preserve their biodiversity and to promote good governance in the fisheries sector in the sub-region.

See Presentation and Recording

Climate change effects on Western Australian Fisheries

Nick Caputi, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

In Australia, the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) identified two factors influenced by climate change that impact the fish/lobster production. Rising water temperatures had effects on the timing of egg development, including from deposition to hatching, while increased winter storms affected larval settlement. Other effects included changes in the size of migrating lobster, size at maturity and their growth. In order to have adaptation measures in place that led to some new management interventions based on the ecosystem approach to fisheries, it was crucial to monitor some of the environmental factors affecting fish/lobster production together with egg production and level of settlement. Furthermore, it was necessary to establish some harvesting strategies that were responsive to the monitored changes. The introduced management intervention was able to reduce fishing activities while at the same time increasing fish egg production. This had a positive effect on economics of the commercial fishery and social wellbeing of the recreational fishing communities.

See Presentation and Recording


Manar Abdelmagied Climate and Environment, FAO, Rome

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