A Climate-Smart Fisheries Toolkit for the Caribbean: Part 1 – Results of a Regional Ecological and Economic Assessment of Climate Change Impacts of Caribbean Fisheries
AuthorsEyzaguirre, J; N. Tamburello; W. Cheung; C. Wabnitz; G. Reygondeau; R. Boyd; S. Singh-Renton Download PDF Open PDF in Browser
Marine biodiversity, ecosystems, and fisheries provide sustenance and livelihoods critical to human well-being in island and coastal communities globally. This socio-ecological balance is under threat from many pressures, including climate change. Climate change adaptation planning is underway in the Caribbean, and accessing quantitative information on climate hazards and impacts can strategically enhance this process. The Caribbean track of the Pilot Program on Climate Resilience supported completion of new climate change impact assessments on Caribbean marine resources and the fisheries sector in 2018. This presentation provides key conclusions from the assessment of (1) climate risks and ecological impacts for Caribbean marine fish stocks, and (2) the economic consequences of ecosystem shifts and of increased tropical cyclone activity. Overall, multiple lines of evidence suggest large risk and impacts of climate change on Caribbean fish stocks and fisheries by the 2050s. Lower catches, in turn, have significant market impacts, including lower domestic demand, higher fish prices and reduced incomes. The research highlights a large pre-existing “adaptation deficit” in the sector: incremental economic impacts of climate change appear small relative to current loss and damages registered. The scale and speed of the changes pose substantial challenges for both ecological and human systems to adapt, demanding swift transformations across the fish value chain, as well as stronger and formal cooperation among public and private value chain stakeholders. Sufficient information exists to inform adaptation planning and targeted measures. Assessment results informed development of ‘climate-smart’ monitoring and management recommendations, which are the subject of a companion presentation at this conference.