The future of marine fisheries:
Climate change is expected to change all aspects of life in the ocean, from basic biological processes, such as the survival and growth of individual organisms, to the distribution and abundance of species and the organization of marine food webs.
These changes will affect the structure and function of marine ecosystems and with that also fish and fisheries. Many fishers need to adapt to where and what they fish and how abundant, large and valuable their target species and overall catch are.
Many species will move their distribution poleward, toward deeper or more offshore waters. Some polar and tropical species may become extinct. All this will lead to a restructuring of marine communities, with largely unpredictable consequences. Based on available climate projections, global fish production and catches are expected to decline, although with considerable regional variation, including increases in high and decreases in low latitudes.
A large degree of future change, however, will depend on the development of fisheries themselves and other human impacts. A reduction in fishing pressure as well as sustainable fisheries management and ocean governance will be necessary to maintain the future of fish and fisheries. The protection of marine biodiversity can thereby act as insurance in the face of climate and other global change.