Climate change increases the risk of fisheries conflict

Elizabeth Mendenhall, Cullen Hendrix, Elizabeth Nyman, Paige M. Roberts, John Robison Hoopes, James R. Watson, Vicky W.Y. Lam, and U. Rashid Sumaila. Published in Marine Policy 117 (July 2020)

Climate change entails significant changes for the ocean environment, with effects on marine living resources such as fisheries. Although the specific impacts on fish productivity and distribution are still active areas of research, enough is known to make provisional statements about how alterations in fisheries will affect human activities and interests. We summarize what is known about the impact of ocean warming, acidification, and sea level rise on fisheries and claims over them, in order to assess the likelihood that these changes will catalyze an increase in conflict over fisheries. We find an increase in the scenarios likely to cause conflict, and an associated set of governance challenges. Adjustments in fisheries management policy will be necessary to avert the growing risk of fisheries related conflicts.