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Climate and Fisheries: The Past, The Future, and The Need for Coalescence

  • Anne Babcock Hollowed
  • Kevin M. Bailey
Part of the Fish & Fisheries Series book series (FIFI, volume 31)

In this chapter we review the history of fisheries science with respect to climate impacts on fisheries and prognosticate the future of this type of research. Our review of the development of climate and fisheries research reveals that advances in our discipline emerge from the coalescence of four factors: shifts in fisheries economics and policy; developments in theoretical ecology; innovations in small-scale field and laboratory studies; and progress in large-scale fisheries statistics and modeling. Major advances have occurred when scientists interacted in multidisciplinary forums. We find that efforts to understand the impact of climate on the annual production and distribution of fish have produced a primary level of understanding of the processes underlying stock structure, production, and distribution of fish species. We find that ecosystem-based approaches to management have been advocated to a greater or lesser degree throughout the last century. In the future, we expect that advances in scientific understanding and improved computing power will allow scientists to explore the complex nature of environmental interactions occurring at different spatial and temporal scales. New field programs will develop to support the development of spatially explicit models of fish that include complex interactions within and between species, and fish behavior. Field sampling programs will benefit from continuing innovations in technology that improve collection of information on the abundance, distribution of fish, and the environment. New technologies will also be utilized in laboratory studies to rapidly assess the reproductive potential, food habits, and genetic history of fish under different environmental conditions. We expect that interdisciplinary training will continue to serve as a catalyst for new ideas in climate and fisheries. However, as researchers shift their focus from retrospective studies and now-casts to long-term implications of fishing and climate on the ecosystem we expect that training in oceanography, ecological theory, and environmental policy will be needed to provide a foundation for the development of models that depict the trade-offs of nature and human use in a realistic manner. Finally, we challenge fisheries scientists to track the accuracy of long- to medium-term forecasts of future states of nature and the potential impact of climate and fisheries on them.

Keywords

Fishery Science Stock Assessment Early Life History Maximum Sustainable Yield Walleye Pollock 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Babcock Hollowed
    • 1
  • Kevin M. Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.Alaska Fisheries Science CenterSeattleUSA

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