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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Projected changes in harvestable marine animal biomass under 21st century climate change in the NAFO convention area (high emissions scenario).Photo: A. Bryndum-Buchholz

Bryndum-Buchholz A, Boyce DG, Tittensor DP, Christensen V, Bianchi D, Lotze HK


Climate-change impacts and fisheries management challenges in the North Atlantic Ocean


Future harvestable fish biomass is projected to substantially change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the NAFO convention area under 21st century climate-change scenarios, indicating long-term management challenges in the region. Bryndum-Buchholz and co-authors combined results from multiple marine ecosystem models in the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Model Intercomparison Project (Fish-MIP) to assess future trends of harvestable fish biomass and underlying projection uncertainties under contrasting climate-change scenarios in the North Atlantic Ocean, using the NAFO convention area as a fisheries management case-study. Projected fish biomass declined in historically important fishing grounds, such as the Grand Banks and the Gulf of Maine; projected biomass increased in northern, historically less important fishing grounds. The ensemble modeling approach used by the authors is considered the ‘gold-standard’ in climate-impact sciences and has only recently been attempted through Fish-MIP for large-scale marine ecosystem responses to climate change. This state-of-the-art approach provides a more complete understanding of climate-driven changes in marine ecosystems compared to any single model. Understanding such climate-change impacts on marine ecosystems is imperative for ensuring that marine fisheries remain productive and sustainable in a changing ocean.


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