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Climate impacts and oceanic top predators: moving from impacts to adaptation in oceanic systems

Abstract

Climate impacts are now widely reported from coastal marine systems, but less is known for the open ocean. Here we review progress in understanding impacts on large pelagic species presented at an international workshop for the Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators programme, and discuss the future with regard to the next phase of adaptation-focused research. Recent highlights include a plan to map the distribution of key species in the foodweb using both acoustics and biochemical techniques, and development of a new data sharing and access tool for fisheries and associated data, including socio-economic information. A common research focus in pelagic ecosystems is on understanding climate variability and climate change impacts on marine species, but a greater emphasis on developing future scenarios and adaptation options is needed. Workshop participants also concluded that engagement with and provision of science support to regional fisheries management organisations are critical elements for ensuring successful uptake of research. This uptake will be required for future management of fisheries as global warming continues such that some open ocean top predators can be sustainably harvested, impacts on conservation-dependent species can be avoided, and ecosystem function is not compromised.

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Acknowledgments

This CLIOTOP workshop was supported by IMBER and the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship. The group wish to thank Dr Mark Howden for his contribution to discussions about adaptation at the meeting. CLIOTOP is an open-access research programme and new collaborators are welcome.

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Hobday, A.J., Young, J.W., Abe, O. et al. Climate impacts and oceanic top predators: moving from impacts to adaptation in oceanic systems. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 23, 537–546 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-013-9311-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-013-9311-0

Keywords

  • Climate variability
  • Climate change
  • Fisheries
  • Pelagic ecosystems