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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 11:603-624 (2019)  -  DOI:

Climate change and aquaculture: considering adaptation potential

Gregor K. Reid1,2,*, Helen J. Gurney-Smith1,3, Mark Flaherty4, Amber F. Garber5, Ian Forster6, Kathy Brewer-Dalton7, Duncan Knowler8, David J. Marcogliese1,9, Thierry Chopin2,10, Richard D. Moccia11, Caitlin T. Smith12, Sena De Silva13

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
4Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
5Huntsman Marine Science Centre, St. Andrews, NB E5B 2L7, Canada
6Pacific Science Enterprise Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1N6, Canada
7New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, Canada
8School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
9Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Montreal, QC K1A 0H3, Canada
10Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada
11Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
12Port of Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A2, Canada
13School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Warrnambool, VIC 3280, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Increases in global population and seafood demand are occurring simultaneously with fisheries decline in an era of rapid climate change. Aquaculture is well positioned to help meet the world’s future seafood needs, but heavy reliance of most global aquaculture on the ambient environment and ecosystem services suggests inherent vulnerability to climate change effects. There are, however, opportunities for adaptation. Engineering and management solutions can reduce exposure to stressors or mitigate stressors through environmental control. Epigenetic adaptation may have the potential to improve stressor tolerance through parental or early life stage exposure. Stressor-resistant traits can be genetically selected for, and maintaining adequate population variability can improve resilience and overall fitness. Information at appropriate time scales is crucial for adaptive response, such as real-time data on stressor levels and/or species’ responses, early warning of deleterious events, or prediction of longer-term change. Diet quality and quantity have the potential to meet increasing energetic and nutritional demands associated with mitigating the effects of abiotic and biotic climate change stressors. Research advancements in understanding how climate change affects aquaculture will benefit most from a combination of empirical studies, modelling approaches, and observations at the farm level. Research to support aquaculture adaptation requires an increasing amount of environmental data to guide biological response studies for regional applications. Increased experimental complexity, resources, and duration will be necessary to better understand the effects of multiple stressors. Ultimately, in order for aquaculture sectors to move beyond short-term coping responses, governance initiatives incorporating the changing needs of stakeholders, users, and culture ecosystems as a whole are required to facilitate planned climate change adaptation and mitigation.

KEY WORDS: Governance · Monitoring · Data needs · Mitigation · Prediction · Engineering · Research · Stressor

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Cite this article as: Reid GK, Gurney-Smith HJ, Flaherty M, Garber AF and others (2019) Climate change and aquaculture: considering adaptation potential. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:603-624.

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