Climatic Change

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 9–21 | Cite as

Climate and current anthropogenic impacts on fisheries

  • Keith Brander


Human impacts on marine fisheries go back many centuries or even thousands of years in some coastal areas. Full global exploitation of the most productive fish stocks probably occurred around 1990. Many stocks have been overexploited and the assessment and management required to rein this in and to combat other human pressures, such as pollution, has been slow to mature, but is showing positive trends. The need to protect marine ecosystems for their intrinsic value and for the services they provide has also been recognised and is being embodied in legislation and turned into operational tools. As with terrestrial systems, it will not be easy to find acceptable balances between food production and conservation objectives. Climate change imposes a new set of pressures on marine ecosystems; increasing temperature, reduced salinity in some enclosed seas and coastal areas, changing windfields and seasonality, acidification, deoxygenation and rising sea level will all affect the productivity and distribution of marine life. We can detect some of the consequences already but prediction is very difficult for a variety of reasons. In spite of these difficulties it is possible to map out robust guidance on the kind of research that will help us to adapt and on the development of practices and management that will insure against future change.


Fishing Marine Ecosystem Pacific Decadal Oscillation Indian Ocean Dipole Fish Stock 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to acknowledge the wide-ranging discussions during the International Workshop on Climate and Ocean Fisheries in Rarotonga in October 2011. Three anonymous referees provided valuable comments and editorial suggestions for improvements to the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DTU Aqua—Danish Institute of Aquatic ResourcesTechnical University of DenmarkCharlottenlundDenmark

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