CLIMATE CHANGE Ensuring sustainable fish production in Europe by Maurine Toussaint, Courtney Hough and Elisabeth Ytteborg, ClimeFish Salmon ÂŠ NOFIMA
The ClimeFish project will produce data that will prepare fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Europe for near future climate scenarios, using adaptation plans, risk assessments and visualisation of opportunities presented in a decision support tool.
limeFish is a four-year European project funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims to create a decision support framework (DSF) to ensure sustainable fish production in Europe under climate change. The project focuses on three different fish supply sectors: marine aquaculture, marine fisheries and lakes and ponds, which are divided into 16 case studies that involve more than 25 species across the continent. The main objective of the ClimeFish project is to ensure that future growth in seafood production occurs in areas and for species with a potential for sustainable growth.
A European project for a global matter
Fish and shellfish from both wild and farmed sectors represent a valuable source of proteins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. So far, most of the consumed food has come from wild catch. However, according to FAO, aquacultured species are expected to become our main nutritional source in the future. Declining wild fish stocks and increasing human population put increased pressure to this development, urging growth and higher production yields. From the other side, the undeniable climate change threatens the sustainable development of both wild and farmed species at the
global level through unfavourable growth conditions. Forecasting the effects and providing structured responses to ensure future growth, sustainability and management, are core activities in ClimeFish. ClimeFish forecasting is based on specific climate scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called the RCPâ€™s (Representative Concentration Pathways). The RCPs are possible temperature scenarios depending on how rapidly global greenhouse gas emissions come down in coming years. ClimeFish focus on the so-called RCP 4.5 and 8.5 that represent the most likely and the worst-case scenario, three and four degrees global temperature increase. The most optimistic scenario, RCP 2.6, was originally the third scenario to be included in the project, but this has already been surpassed. The effects of these scenarios upon fish and shellfish in all the 16 cases will be simulated using different models developed in the project. ClimeFish will then use the simulated results to make tentative projections of fish production and distribution based on the relationship between water temperature and population growth. These production scenarios will be further used for socioeconomic analysis by all relevant stakeholders, who will also identify potential risks and opportunities for the sector. ClimeFish is currently in the beginning of the second project year and all of the cases have started modelling the growth of the relevant species.
The project objectives
When it comes to aquaculture and fisheries, adaptations to climate change are not just about the effects of storms or temperature increase. It also requires concrete measures and adaptation strategies from every European country, political decisions, management plans and engagement from the industrial stakeholders.
18 | August 2017 - International Aquafeed