Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 195–205 | Cite as

Economic effects of global warming under stock growth uncertainty: the European sardine fishery

  • José-María Da Rocha
  • María-José Gutiérrez
  • Sebastian Villasante
Original Article


Global warming of the oceans is expected to alter the environmental conditions that determine the growth of a fishery resource. Most climate change studies are based on models and scenarios that focus on economic growth, or they concentrate on simulating the potential losses or cost to fisheries due to climate change. However, analysis that addresses model optimisation problems to better understand the complex dynamics of climate change and marine ecosystems is still lacking. In this paper, a simple algorithm to compute transitional dynamics in order to quantify the effect of climate change on the European sardine fishery is presented. The model results indicate that global warming will not necessarily lead to a monotonic decrease in the expected biomass levels. Our results show that if the resource is exploited optimally, then in the short run, increases in the surface temperature of the fishery ground are compatible with higher expected biomass and economic profit.


Global warming Stock growth uncertainty European sardine fishery Transitional dynamics 



We thank M. Dolores Garza-Gil, Julia Torralba, and Manuel M. Varela-Lafuente for their valuable comments and suggestions. Financial aid from the European Commission (MYFISH, FP7-KBBE-2011-5, nº 289257), and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ECO2009-14697-C02-02, ECO2012-39098-C06-00, ECO2012-39098-C06-01 and ECO2012-35820) are gratefully acknowledged. The first draft of the paper was written while Jose María Da Rocha was visiting Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica-CSIC, and the hospitality extended by its members is gratefully acknowledged. Sebastián Villasante acknowledges the financial support of the Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economic Program (LACEEP) and the Norwegian Research Council. The author is also grateful to the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden) for awarding him the Karl-Göran Mäler Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • José-María Da Rocha
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • María-José Gutiérrez
    • 2
  • Sebastian Villasante
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.CIE. Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM)Distrito FederalMexico
  2. 2.MacLab, FAEII and BETSUniversity of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)BilbaoSpain
  3. 3.The Beijer International Institute of Ecological EconomicsThe Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Centro Nacional Patagónico, CONICETChubutArgentina
  5. 5.Universidade de Vigo, Campus Lagoas MacrosendeVigoSpain
  6. 6.Campus do Mar, International Campus of ExcellenceVigoSpain
  7. 7.Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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