Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 443–462 | Cite as

Latitudinal shifts in the distribution of exploited fishes in Korean waters during the last 30 years: a consequence of climate change

  • Sukgeun Jung
  • Ig-Chan Pang
  • Joon-ho Lee
  • Ilsu Choi
  • Hyung Kee Cha
Research Paper


Sea surface temperatures in Korean waters have increased by approximately 1 °C during the past 40 years, implying possible range shifts of marine fishes and invertebrates. We analyzed spatially explicit, commercial catch data for 12 major fish species collected from 1984 to 2010 in Korean waters to evaluate and project their range shifts based on climate-driven hydrographic changes simulated by a general circulation model under a climate change scenario. There were significant relationships between the mean latitude of the catch distribution and water temperature for seven of the 12 species examined. Our circulation model projected that temperature stratification in the Korea Strait will disappear by 2030, and our empirical relationships predicted that the ranges of five of the fish species examined will shift poleward by 19–71 km from the 2000s to the 2030s. Compared with studies of demersal fishes in the western North Atlantic and the North Sea, our estimated speeds of shift in mean latitude of fishes were, on average, slower by factors of 2.3 and 5.7, respectively. This suggests that the pattern of range shift of marine species can vary regionally, depending on oceanographic and geomorphologic conditions. International cooperative research among fisheries scientists from countries throughout the region, especially Japan and China, is required to more reliably and comprehensively assess and project the range shifts of fish species. This will provide a scientific basis for the development of fishery policies and their adaptation to climate change in the western North Pacific.


Climate change Korea Marine fishes Range shift Tsushima warm current 



This research was supported by the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Republic of Korea; the 2013 Jeju Sea Grant College Program funded by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Republic of Korea; and a grant from the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (, Grant No. ARCP2012-08CMY-Jung. This is Contribution No. RP-2013-FR-008 of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute.

Supplementary material

11160_2013_9310_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 1626 kb)


  1. Batchelder HP, Kim S (2008) Lessons learned from the PICES/GLOBEC climate change and carrying capacity (CCCC) program and synthesis symposium. Prog Oceanogr 77:83–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell JD et al (2012) Effects of climate change on oceanic fisheries in the tropical Pacific: implications for economic development and food security. Clim Chang 1–14. doi: 10.1007/s10584-012-0606-2
  3. Blumberg AF, Mellor GL (1987) A description of a three-dimensional coastal ocean circulation model. In: Heaps N (ed) Three-dimensional coastal ocean models. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boo K-O, Kwon W-T, Baek H-J (2006) Change of extreme events of temperature and precipitation over Korea using regional projection of future climate change. Geophys Res Lett 33:L01701. doi: 10.1029/2005gl023378 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brander K (2012) Climate and current anthropogenic impacts on fisheries. Clim Chang 1–13. doi: 10.1007/s10584-012-0541-2
  6. Burrows MT et al (2011) The pace of shifting climate in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Science 334:652–655PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapman DC (1985) Numerical treatment of cross-shelf open boundaries in a barotropic coastal ocean model. J Phys Oceanogr 15:1060–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen C, Beardsley RC, Limeburner R, Kim K (1994) Comparison of winter and summer hydrographic observations in the Yellow and East China Seas and adjacent Kuroshio during 1986. Cont Shelf Res 14:909–929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheung WWL et al (2009) Projecting global marine biodiversity impacts under climate change scenarios. Fish Fish 10:235–251. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2008.00315.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chiba S, Saino T (2002) Interdecadal change in the upper water column environment and spring diatom community structure in the Japan Sea: an early summer hypothesis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 231:23–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chung Y-S, Yoon M-B, Kim H-S (2004) On climate variations and changes observed in South Korea. Clim Chang 66:151–161. doi: 10.1023/B:CLIM.0000043141.54763.f8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cleveland WS (1979) Robust locally weighted regression and smoothing scatterplots. J Am Stat Assoc 74(368):829–836. doi: 10.1080/01621459.1979.10481038 Google Scholar
  13. Cressie NAC (1993) Statistics for spatial data (revised edn). Wiley-Interscience, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Dong Z, Liu D, Keesing JK (2010) Jellyfish blooms in China: dominant species, causes and consequences. Mar Pollut Bull 60:954–963PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dulvy NK et al (2008) Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: a biotic indicator of warming seas. J Appl Ecol 45:1029–1039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Egbert GD, Erofeeva SY (2002) Efficient inverse modeling of barotropic ocean tides. J Atmos Ocean Technol 19:183–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Egbert GD, Bennett AF, Foreman MGG (1994) TOPEX/POSEIDON tides estimated using a global inverse model. J Geophys Res 99(24):821–824, 852Google Scholar
  18. Flather RA (1976) A tidal model of the north-west European continental shelf. Memoires Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege 10:141–164Google Scholar
  19. Fukasawa M et al (2004) Bottom water warming in the North Pacific Ocean. Nature 427:825–827PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gao Q, Xu Z (2011) Effect of regional warming on the abundance of Pseudeuphausia sinica Wang et Chen (Euphausiacea) off the Changjiang River (Yangtze River) Estuary. Acta Oceanol Sin 30:122–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gauch HG (1982) Multivariate analysis in community ecology. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gong Y, Suh YS (2013) Effect of climate-ocean changes on the abundance of Pacific saury. J Environ Biol 34:23–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hashioka T, Yamanaka Y (2007) Ecosystem change in the western North Pacific associated with global warming using 3D-NEMURO. Ecol Model 202:95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hashioka T, Sakamoto TT, Yamanaka Y (2009) Potential impact of global warming on North Pacific spring blooms projected by an eddy-permitting 3-D ocean ecosystem model. Geophys Res Lett 36:L20604, 1–5Google Scholar
  25. Hazen EL et al (2012) Predicted habitat shifts of Pacific top predators in a changing climate. Nat Clim Chang 3. doi: 10.1038/nclimate1686
  26. Hegerl GC et al (2007) Understanding and attributing climate change. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Alley RB, Berntsen T, Bindoff NL, Chen Z, Chidthaisong A, Gregory JM, Hegerl GC (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 663–745Google Scholar
  27. Hegerl G et al (2010) Good practice guidance paper on detection and attribution related to anthropogenic climate change. In: Stocker TF, Field CB, Qin D, Barros V, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Midgley PM, Ebi KL (eds) Meeting report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expert meeting on detection and attribution related to anthropogenic climate change. IPCC Working Group I Technical Support Unit, University of Bern, Bern, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  28. Hiddink JG, ter Hofstede R (2008) Climate induced increases in species richness of marine fishes. Global Chang Biol 14:453–460. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01518.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hill MO (1973) Reciprocal averaging: an eigenvector method of ordination. J Ecol 61:237–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hill MO (1974) Correspondence analysis: a neglected multivariate method. Appl Stat 23:340–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hobday AJ, Pecl GT (2013) Identification of global marine hotspots: sentinels for change and vanguards for adaptation. Revi Fish Biol Fish. WFC Hotspots, SIGoogle Scholar
  32. Hwang K, Jung S (2012) Decadal changes in fish assemblages in waters near the Ieodo ocean research station (East China Sea) in relation to climate change from 1984 to 2010. Ocean Sci J 47:83–94. doi: 10.1007/s12601-012-0009-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. IPCC (2007a) Climate change 2007. The physical science basis. Summary for policymakers. In: Contribution of working group to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, p 18Google Scholar
  34. IPCC (2007b) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis: contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  35. Ishida Y et al (2001) Archeological evidence of Pacific salmon distribution in northern Japan and implications for future global warming. Prog Oceanogr 49:539–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jones MC et al (2013) Predicting the impact of climate change on threatened species in UK waters. PLoS One 8:e54216PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jung S (2008) Spatial variability in long-term changes of climate and oceanographic conditions in Korea. J Environ Biol 29:519–529PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Jung S (2012) Impact of global warming on coastal and marine ecosystems in Northwest Pacific. APN Sci Bull (2):94–95Google Scholar
  39. Jung S, Houde ED (2004) Recruitment and spawning-stock biomass distribution of bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) in Chesapeake Bay. Fish Bull 102:63–77Google Scholar
  40. Kang S, Kim S, Bae S-W (2000) Changes in ecosystem components induced by climate variability off the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula during 1960–1990. Prog Oceanogr 47:205–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kang YS, Kim JY, Kim HG, Park JH (2002) Long-term changes in zooplankton and its relationship with squid, Todarodes pacificus, catch in Japan/East Sea. Fish Oceanogr 11:337–346. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2419.2002.00211.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kang J-H et al (2007) Why did the copepod Calanus sinicus increase during the 1990s in the Yellow Sea? Mar Environ Res 63:82–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kang YS et al (2012) Regional differences in response of mesozooplankton to long-term oceanographic changes (regime shifts) in the northeastern Asian marginal seas. Prog Oceanogr 97–100:120–134. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2011.11.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kim S (2010) Fisheries development in northeastern Asia in conjunction with changes in climate and social systems. Mar Policy 34:803–809. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2010.01.028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kim K et al (2001) Warming and structural changes in the east (Japan) Sea: a clue to future changes in global oceans? Geophys Res Lett 28:3293–3296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kim JY, Kim S, Choi YM, Lee JB (2006) Evidence of density-dependent effects on population variation of Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanosticta) off Korea. Fish Oceanogr 15:345–349. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2006.00413.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kim S et al (2007) Climate variability and its effects on major fisheries in Korea. Ocean Sci J 42:179–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kim H-S, Jung M-M, Lee J-B (2008) The Korean Peninsula warming based on appearance trend of tropical dinoflagellate species, genus Ornithocercus. J Korean Soc Oceanogr 13:303–307Google Scholar
  49. Kimura S, Kato Y, Kitagawa T, Yamaoka N (2010) Impacts of environmental variability and global warming scenario on Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) spawning grounds and recruitment habitat. Prog Oceanogr 86:39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kitagawa T et al (2002) Differences in vertical distribution and movement of Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus orientalis) among areas: the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan and the western North Pacific. Mar Freshw Res 53:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kwon H-w, Yoo J-t (2010) Korea’s report on the catch of Pacific bluefin tuna domestic measures undertaken for the Pacific bluefin tuna fisheries in Korean waters. In: Northern Committee Sixth Regular Session Fukuoka, Japan. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. WCPFC-NC6/DP-04.6Google Scholar
  52. Last PR et al (2011) Long-term shifts in abundance and distribution of a temperate fish fauna: a response to climate change and fishing practices. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 20:58–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lee J-Y et al (2009) Spatial and temporal variability in the pelagic ecosystem of the East Sea (Sea of Japan): a review. J Mar Syst 78:288–300. doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2009.02.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lehodey P et al (2006) Climate variability, fish, and fisheries. J Clim 19:5009–5030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lie H-J et al (2001) Does the Yellow Sea Warm Current really exist as a persistent mean flow? J Geophys Res 106:22199–22210. doi: 10.1029/2000jc000629 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lin C et al (2005) Environmental changes and the responses of the ecosystems of the Yellow Sea during 1976–2000. J Mar Syst 55:223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ludwig JA, Reynolds JF (1988) Statistical ecology. A primer on methods and computing. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  58. Ma Z, Xu Z, Zhou J (2009) Effect of global warming on the distribution of Lucifer intermedius and L. hanseni (Decapoda) in the Changjiang estuary. Prog Nat Sci 19:1389–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Masuda R (2008) Seasonal and interannual variation of subtidal fish assemblages in Wakasa Bay with reference to the warming trend in the Sea of Japan. Environ Biol Fish 82:387–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McCune E (1956) Korea’s heritage: a regional and social geography. Charles E. Tuttle, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  61. Mueter FJ, Litzow MA (2008) Sea ice retreat alters the biogeography of the Bering Sea continental shelf. Ecol Appl 18:309–320PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Neat F, Righton D, Neat F, Righton D (2007) Warm water occupancy by North Sea cod. Proc R Soc Biol Sci 274:789–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Nye JA, Link JS, Hare JA, Overholtz WJ (2009) Changing spatial distribution of fish stocks in relation to climate and population size on the Northeast United States continental shelf. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 393:111–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Parmesan C (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 37:637–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Parmesan C, Yohe G (2003) A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421:37–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Perry AL, Low PJ, Ellis JR, Reynolds JD (2005) Climate change and distribution shifts in marine fishes. Science 308:1912–1915. doi: 10.1126/science.1111322 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. PICES (2004) Marine ecosystems of the North Pacific. PICES Special Publication, p 1. Accessed 24 Feb 2013
  68. Pinsky ML, Fogarty M (2012) Lagged social-ecological responses to climate and range shifts in fisheries. Clim Chang 115:883–891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pörtner HO, Peck MA (2010) Climate change effects on fishes and fisheries: towards a cause-and-effect understanding. J Fish Biol 77:1745–1779. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02783.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rebstock GA, Kang YS (2003) A comparison of three marine ecosystems surrounding the Korean peninsula: responses to climate change. Prog Oceanogr 59:357–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Roessig JM, Woodley CM, Cech JJ, Hansen LJ (2004) Effects of global climate change on marine and estuarine fishes and fisheries. Rev Fish Biol Fish 14:251–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. SAS (1989) SAS/STAT user’s guide, version 6. SAS Institute, CaryGoogle Scholar
  73. Seo SN (2008) Digital 30 sec gridded bathymetric data of Korea marginal seas—KorBathy30s. J Korean Soc Coast Ocean Eng 20:110–120Google Scholar
  74. Shchepetkin AF, McWilliams JC (2005) The regional oceanic modeling system (ROMS): a split-explicit, free-surface, topography-following-coordinate oceanic model. Ocean Model Online 9:347–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shoji J et al (2011) Possible effects of global warming on fish recruitment: shifts in spawning season and latitudinal distribution can alter growth of fish early life stages through changes in daylength. ICES J Mar Sci 68:1165–1169. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsr059 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Shomura RS, Majkowski J, Langi S (1993) Interactions of Pacific tuna fisheries. The first FAO expert consultation on interactions of Pacific Tuna fisheries. Noumea, New Caledonia, p 39Google Scholar
  77. Song Y, Haidvogel D (1994) A semi-implicit ocean circulation model using a generalized topography-following coordinate system. J Comput Phys 115:228–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sumaila UR et al (2011) Climate change impacts on the biophysics and economics of world fisheries. Nat Clim Chang 1:449–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Takasuka A, Aoki I, Mitani I (2003) Evidence of growth-selective predation on larval Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus in Sagami Bay. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 252:223–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Takasuka A, Oozeki Y, Aoki I (2007) Optimal growth temperature hypothesis: why do anchovy flourish and sardine collapse or vice versa under the same ocean regime? Can J Fish Aquac 64:768–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Takikawa T, Yoon J-H (2005) Volume transport through the Tsushima Straits estimated from sea level difference. J Oceanogr 61:699–708. doi: 10.1007/s10872-005-0077-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tang X, Wang F, Chen Y, Li M (2009) Warming trend in northern East China Sea in recent four decades. Chin J Oceanol Limnol 27:185–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. ter Braak CJF (1986) Canonical correspondence analysis: a new eigenvector technique for multivariate direct gradient analysis. Ecology 67:1167–1179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Tian Y, Kidokoro H, Watanabe T (2006) Long-term changes in the fish community structure from the Tsushima warm current region of the Japan/East Sea with an emphasis on the impacts of fishing and climate regime shift over the last four decades. Prog Oceanogr 68:217–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Tian Y, Kidokoro H, Watanabe T, Iguchi N (2008) The late 1980s regime shift in the ecosystem of Tsushima warm current in the Japan/East Sea: evidence from historical data and possible mechanisms. Prog Oceanogr 77:127–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Tian Y, Kidokoro H, Fujino T (2011) Interannual-decadal variability of demersal fish assemblages in the Tsushima Warm Current region of the Japan Sea: impacts of climate regime shifts and trawl fisheries with implications for ecosystem-based management. Fish Res 112:140–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tian Y et al (2012) Response of yellowtail, Seriola quinqueradiata, a key large predatory fish in the Japan Sea, to sea water temperature over the last century and potential effects of global warming. J Mar Syst 91:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Uye S (2008) Blooms of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai: a threat to the fisheries sustainability of the East Asian Marginal Seas. Plankton Benthos Res 3:125–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Yoo S, Park J (2007) Primary productivity of the Yellow Sea. In: PICES 16th annual meeting, Victoria, Canada, p 255Google Scholar
  90. Yoon WD, Yang JY, Shim MB, Kang HK (2008) Physical processes influencing the occurrence of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) around Jeju Island, Korea. J Plankton Res 30:251–260. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbm102 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Zhang CI, Gong Y (2005) Effect of ocean climate changes on the Korean stock of Pacific saury, Cololabis saira (BREVOORT). J Oceanogr 61:313–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Zhang C, Lee J, Kim S, Oh J (2000) Climatic regime shifts and their impacts on marine ecosystem and fisheries resources in Korean waters. Prog Oceanogr 47:171–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Zhang CI et al (2004) Variations in the abundance of fisheries resources and ecosystem structure in the Japan/East Sea. Prog Oceanogr 61:245–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Zhang CI, Yoon SC, Lee JB (2007) Effects of the 1988/1989 climatic regime shift on the structure and function of the southwestern Japan/East Sea ecosystem. J Mar Syst 67:225–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sukgeun Jung
    • 1
  • Ig-Chan Pang
    • 1
  • Joon-ho Lee
    • 1
  • Ilsu Choi
    • 2
  • Hyung Kee Cha
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Ocean SciencesJeju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Subtropical Fisheries Research CenterSouthwest Sea Fisheries Research Institute, National Fisheries Research and Development InstituteJejuRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations