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Impact of Changes in Natural Conditions on Ocean Resources

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on likely effects on fish, and some other commercial stocks, and fisheries in the northern North Atlantic assuming a warming marine climate. It analyzes to what extent the effects of observed variations in abundance, growth and migration routes are due to specific changes of climate and what should be blamed on excessive fishing pressure. For this purpose, examples of changes of selected stocks in the North Atlantic in this period are used as templates. The chapter examines past effects of climate change on the selected species in the ecosystems. On looking back over past fisheries and climatic episodes, it is quite clear that in many cases mismanagement and/or lack of bi- or multinational agreements on exploitation of straddling stocks, migrating through the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of two or more countries, have in most cases had even larger effects on stock developments than changes of climate.

Keywords: atmospheric-ocean general climate models (AOGCMs); climate change; Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs); fish stocks; fisheries management; multinational agreements; North Atlantic; ocean resources



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