Future Research Requirements for Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability on Fisheries for Their Management
Climate variability is a key factor controlling the distribution and abundance of marine organisms and ecosystems structure. Climate science must be linked to ecosystem science and living marine resource management if we are to understand, quantify, and forecast the impacts of climate variability and future climate change on marine populations and ecosystem components. To effectively understand and incorporate into management the effects of climate variability on fisheries, we will need to expand greatly our capabilities in a number of research activities. Ecological observations must be maintained and enhanced to detect and increase our understanding of the impacts of climate variability and climate change on marine ecosystems. Climate-forced biophysical models must be developed and verified to increase understanding of ecosystem responses to climate and provide predictions to assist management. Ecological indicators that document ecosystem change and the impacts of climate variability on marine ecosystems must be developed and made operational. Regular assessments of ecosystem status must be prepared, distributed, and interpreted. Finally, climate information must be integrated into fisheries management plans and decisions. We recommend a series of initial priority activities, which include regional “proof of concept” demonstration projects for linking climate information with resource management; developing ecological indicators that document the state of, and impacts of climate variability on, marine populations and their ecosystems; and creating web-based and dynamic regional integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs).
KeywordsClimate change fisheries management ecosystem-based management ecological indicators ecological assessments physical-biological models
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