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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 11:569-602 (2019)  -  DOI:

Climate change and aquaculture: considering biological response and resources

Gregor K. Reid1,2,*, Helen J. Gurney-Smith1,3, David J. Marcogliese1,4, Duncan Knowler5, Tillmann Benfey6, Amber F. Garber7, Ian Forster8, Thierry Chopin2,9, Kathy Brewer-Dalton10, Richard D. Moccia11, Mark Flaherty12, Caitlin T. Smith13, Sena De Silva14

1St. Andrews Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews, NB E5B 0E4, Canada
2Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network (CIMTAN), University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada
3Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
4Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Montreal, QC K1A 0H3, Canada
5School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
6Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
7Huntsman Marine Science Centre, St. Andrews, NB E5B 2L7, Canada
8Pacific Science Enterprise Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, West Vancouver, BC V7V1N6, Canada
9Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada
10New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, Canada
11Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
12Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
13Port of Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A2, Canada
14School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Warrnambool, VIC 3280, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The heavy reliance of most global aquaculture on the ambient environment suggests inherent vulnerability to climate change effects. This review explores the potential effects of climate change stressors on aquaculture biology and resources needed to support decision-making for vulnerability assessment, planned adaptation, and strategic research development. Climate change-mediated physiochemical outcomes important to aquaculture include extreme weather, precipitation and surge-based flooding, water stress, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion, and changes to temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. Culture practices, environment, and region affect stressor exposure, and biological response between species or populations are not universal. Response to a climate change stressor will be a function of where changes occur relative to optimal ranges and tolerance limits of an organism’s life stage and physiological processes; the average magnitude of the stressor over the production cycle; stressor rate of change; variation, frequency, duration, and magnitude of extremes; epigenetic expression, genetic strain, and variation within and between populations; health and nutrition; and simultaneous stressor occurrence. The effects of simultaneous stressors will frequently interact, but may not be fully additive or synergistic. Disease is a major aquaculture limiter, and climate change is expected to further affect plant and animal health through the host and/or infectious agents. Climate change may introduce further complexity to the aquaculture-wild fishery relationship, with over two-thirds of animal aquaculture production dependent on external feed inputs. Higher production costs could be an economic outcome of climate change for many aquaculture sectors. Some aquaculture practices may inadvertently reduce resiliency to climate change, such as a reduction of coastal vegetation, coastal ground-water pumping, and reduction of population variability in pursuit of consistent production traits. Information from the largest aquaculture producers such as China and the top 3 global culture species is still sparse in the literature. This potentially limits thorough understanding of climate change effects on some regional aquaculture sectors.

KEY WORDS: Nutrition · Algae · Genetics · Fish health · Acclimation · Economics · Ocean acidification · Extreme weather

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Cite this article as: Reid GK, Gurney-Smith HJ, Marcogliese DJ, Knowler D and others (2019) Climate change and aquaculture: considering biological response and resources. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:569-602.

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