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14 July 2008

FAO Scientific Symposium: Climate Change Will Have Strong Impact on Fisheries

Fishing communities in the developing world are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Photo credit: FAO 10 July 2008: The International Symposium on Coping with Global Change in Marine Social-Ecological Systems took place from 8-11 July 2008, in Rome, Italy. The Symposium, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics and the European Network of Excellence for Oceans Ecosystem Analysis, brought together over 200 experts and policymakers from around the globe to share experiences and identify key next steps to promote resilience of marine social-ecological systems.

During the scientific sessions held throughout the week, experts highlighted that temperatures and other climate change-induced variations will impact fisheries and aquaculture, with significant food security consequences for certain populations. It was also noted that the climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture are already being felt and include: increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in marine waters; and the continuance of the warming, acidification and shifts in salinity of the world’s oceans. Delegates also underscored the role fisheries and aquaculture play in providing food of high nutritional value and generating income, especially in developing countries. Further, they stressed the implications for fisheries production of climate impacts, which are likely to exacerbate the livelihoods’ instability of those communities that heavily rely on them. [FAO press release, 10 July 2008] [Symposium website]

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