Krill, climate, and contrasting future scenarios for Arctic and Antarctic fisheries

Arctic and Antarctic marine systems have in common high latitudes, large seasonal changes in light levels, cold air and sea temperatures, and sea ice. In other ways, however, they are strikingly different, including their: age, extent, geological structure, ice stability, and foodweb structure. Both regions contain very rapidly warming areas and climate impacts have been reported, as have dramatic future projections. However, the combined effects of a changing climate on oceanographic processes and foodweb dynamics are likely to influence their future fisheries in very different ways. Differences in the life-history strategies of the key zooplankton species (Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean and Calanus copepods in the Arctic) will likely affect future productivity of fishery species and fisheries. To explore future scenarios for each region, this paper: (i) considers differing characteristics (including geographic, physical, and biological) that define polar marine ecosystems and reviews known and projected impacts of climate change on key zooplankton species that may impact fished species; (ii) summarizes existing fishery resources; (iii) synthesizes this information to generate future scenarios for fisheries; and (iv) considers the implications for future fisheries management. Published studies suggest that if an increase in open water during summer in Arctic and Subarctic seas results in increased primary and secondary production, biomass may increase for some important commercial fish stocks and new mixes of species may become targeted. In contrast, published studies suggest that in the Southern Ocean the potential for existing species to adapt is mixed and that the potential for the invasion of large and highly productive pelagic finfish species appears low. Thus, future Southern Ocean fisheries may largely be dependent on existing species. It is clear from this review that new management approaches will be needed that account for the changing dynamics in these regions under climate change.


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Authors: McBride, Margaret M., Dalpadado, Padmini, Drinkwater, Kenneth F., Godo, Olav Rune, Hobday, Alistair J., Hollowed, Anne B., Kristiansen, Trond, Murphy, Eugene J. ORCIDORCID record for Eugene J. Murphy, Ressler, Patrick H., Subbey, Sam, Hofmann, Eileen E., Loeng, Harald

On this site: Eugene Murphy
1 September, 2014
ICES Journal of Marine Science / 71
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