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ICES Journal of Marine Science (2011), 68(6), 1368–1372. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr086 Summing up Sendai: progress integrating climate change science and ﬁsheries Steven A. Murawski College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 Seventh Avenue MSL 118, St Petersburg, FL 33741, USA; tel: +1 727 553 3367; fax: +1 727 553 1189; e-mail: [email protected] Murawski, S. A. 2011. Summing up Sendai: progress integrating climate change science and ﬁsheries. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68: 1368 –1372. Introduction An impressive and increasingly complete record including the papers, posters, and discussions presented at the Sendai Conference demonstrate that productivity, spatial distribution, phenology, and human dimensions of fisheries are highly climatedependent, and thus at significant risk in climate change scenarios (Parry et al., 2007). Not all such effects are necessarily negative from a human-centric point of view, but all create uncertainty in how society will adapt. My assignment from the Sendai Conference organizers was to listen, discuss, debate, and provide, at conference end, some thoughts on what was learned and what we need to learn regarding climate and fisheries. At the final session, these few thoughts were presented on what appears we are doing well, what work is in progress, and where we need to go. Thanks to the many colleagues who contributed to these opinions. Background The impacts of climate variability and change have long been appreciated by fishery scientists. By the 1930s, a great schism developed in the community of fishery scientists and biological oceanographers, pitting those who thought that control of fish populations was primarily due to the effects fishing, and thus “top-down”, and those who thought that fisheries were controlled primarily by physical oceanography and lower trophic level productivity, e.g. “bottom-up” control. The so-called Thompson – Burkenroad debates (Smith, 1994) helped fuel a bifurcation in science approaches to understanding fishery populations that is only now being bridged. Multidisciplinary science programmes, such as GLOBEC, Cod and Climate, NEMURO, and others, have done much to affect this “rapprochement”, facilitating a more integrated approach to understanding the dynamics of marine populations. Control of overfishing has emerged as a global priority for food security and biodiversity protection (e.g. Worm et al., 2009). As well, understanding the impacts of changing temperature regimes, current systems, basin-scale oscillatory phenomena, sea ice loss, ocean acidification, sea level rise, and freshwater flows have emerged as priorities, as the science on display at Sendai has demonstrated. It is clear that ending overfishing and rebuilding natural populations to support sustainable, productive fisheries is priority one for resource management. Strengthening fishery populations through effective management will, de facto, make these populations more resilient to perturbations from factors such as climate variability and change. But how will the benefits of more effective fishery management be manifested: to whom, where, and at what levels; how will climate change alter these balances? The emerging consensus from Sendai and previous symposia is that cooperation among biological oceanographers, fishery biologists, ecologists, and social scientists is essential to appreciate the combined impacts and implications of overfishing and climate change and variability required to support a more holistic ecosystem approach to fisheries management. The Sendai Conference builds on the legacy of earlier conferences that emphasized links between climate, oceans, and fisheries at a global scale. Prior conferences have primarily not had a global focus however, but instead dealt with specific regions, species groups, or other subsets of the climate change and fisheries conundrum (e.g. Beamish, 1995; McGinn, 2002; Kruse et al., 2008). Two years before Sendai, the Gijón (Spain) conference was the venue for perhaps the most comprehensive climate-oceans focus ever held (Valdés et al., 2009). The Gijón conference emphasized that CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are already affecting the world’s oceans and biota, that observing systems to monitor these changes are very incomplete, and that marine scientists need to focus on climate forcing impacts on ecosystem structure, biodiversity, and fisheries’, species’, and society’s adaptive capacity (Valdés et al., 2009). Just after Sendai, OECD (2010) sponsored a workshop on “Economics of Adapting Fisheries to Climate Change”, in Busan, Korea. That workshop emphasized governance issues, international agreements, the role of aquaculture as part of an adaptation strategy, capacity development, and knowledge transfer to the developing world and mitigation strategies. Some conclusions from Sendai . . . and beyond Below are a few observations motivated by the formal presentations, posters, and discussions at Sendai. † Overall, the scientific community seems well on track, emphasizing the importance of linking in an “end-to-end” fashion atmospheric and oceanographic processes driven by GHG increases, and impacts on species, and dependent human communities (e.g. climate-to-fish-to-fisheries models discussed by Kenny Rose and colleagues). Fisheries is a coastal sector with # 2011 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] Summing up Sendai much current focus on climate-forced impacts and outcomes and the potential for such impacts are one of the major “so what?” justifications for understanding climate effects more synoptically. † Coupled models, with nested atmosphere, land, ocean, and some biological components are now a reality and skill is improving quickly (e.g. Gnanadesikan et al., 2011). There is growing interest in an earth systems modelling (ESM) approach to climate effects but there is a difficulty evaluating higher trophic levels (inconsistent and incomplete data) and social, economic, and behavioural mechanisms within such models because data are generally lacking, and there are few appropriate quantitative approaches to behavioural quantification. Much of the world’s fish production comes from shelf seas and inshore areas, where models have trouble resolving boundary conditions and complex oceanography, fronts etc. Nested models that couple both regional downscaling (atmospheric models linked to regional terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems) and upscaling (e.g. high-resolution oceanographic models nested into lower-resolution atmospheric models) are an exciting development, as outlined by Enrique Curchitser, Jason Holt, and their colleagues at the Symposium (Holt et al., 2009). † With respect to downscaling, widely varying regional expertise has created a “cottage industry” of methods and approaches, with no global standardization. Therefore, comparisons among regions are difficult in the situation where disparate methods for projecting regional to local climate effects are used. More consistent global frameworks are urgently needed. † Except for ocean physics and perhaps phytoplankton production, we do not have a global view of climate impacts— instead, we are left to interpret a mosaic of regional analyses biased by location, and especially emphasizing regions of the developed world. Ocean colour is the only synoptic global oceanic biological parameter and it is highly threatened as a long-term time-series. For example, the SeaWiFS satellite instrument (operational beginning in February 1997) ceased data collection due to a terminal failure in December 2010. This 13+ years time-series allowed a number of pivotal studies of the links between climate variation and primary productivity (e.g. Polovina et al., 2008; Vantrepotte and Mélin, 2009). Although there are a number of current and planned satellites obtaining ocean colour data, there is no consistent calibration-validation scheme to link data from various ocean colour instruments, or any agreement to continue the synoptic collection of this vital indicator of biological productivity in the oceans. † Despite the availability of over a decade of consistent ocean colour observations, it remains difficult to answer the even most basic question for biology—will global ocean primary production rise or fall as a result of the combined effects of ocean acidification, ocean warming, mixed-layer depth shoaling (see the symposium contribution by Jang et al., 2011), nutrient flux, and other oceanographic phenomena? Some results for open ocean basins indicate modest declines in low productivity basins (Polovina et al., 2008)—if so, these will be directly linked to changes in fish production. † Most studies to date of the effects of climate change on fish stocks have operated on a species-by-species basis. Given the differential impacts of climate variation and trend on species 1369 and trophic levels, the lack of species interactions in such studies is a glaring weakness. Integrating trophic dynamics through the use of foodweb analyses, size (length)-based methods, and other techniques is not only a priority (Barange et al., 2010; Botsford et al., 2011), but, as emphasized by Julia Blanchard in her talk, a feasible path forward. † The mosaic of regional studies on climate effects on fisheries discussed here and previously is heavily skewed to the wellstudied North Atlantic, North Pacific, southern African, and a few other locations globally. One novel approach is to use climate–ocean models to identify climate “hotspots” (no pun intended) and to focus attention on them as sentinels of climate impacts (as proposed by Gretta Pecl, Alistair Hobday, and collaborators). Two obvious issues are: how do we mobilize observing systems and research to some of the identified locations heretofore not well studied, and what of other global locations that may not exhibit extreme temperature rise (i.e. 4+8C rise in temperatures) but are nonetheless vulnerable to the totality of climate-induced factors (Figure 1)? † Climate, fishing, nutrient enrichment, habitat loss, ocean acidification, and other issues are confounded by both additive and especially multiplicative factors and interactions (Figure 1). Understanding these “knock-on” effects is of critical interest to society, but this cannot be done sequentially. Therefore, we need a holistic approach to these analytical issues and nested ESMs, with fisheries and social sciences in submodels are an obvious path forward. Development of fully coupled naturalsocial science models is needed to understand the synergistic effects of climate forcing and socio-economic forces if we are to understand the viability of adaptation strategies (Barange et al., 2010; Fulton, 2011). † Fishing is just one of a number of coastal issues (including coastal development, shipping, energy exploration and production, coastal recreation, aquaculture, and other uses) threatened by climate change. Fisheries and living marine resource Figure 1. Schematic GHG enrichment impacts on the resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities and ﬁsheries that support them. This diagram emphasizes a number of key outcomes and uncertainties from the Sendai conference. Several of these potential topics have yet to be adequately evaluated, including the impacts of sea level rise and habitat loss on estuarine ﬁsheries, ocean acidiﬁcation impacts on estuarine and oceanic ﬁsheries, and especially the interactions of ﬁsheries and other coastal sectors on human dimension outcomes in coastal communities. 1370 management are highly co-dependent on outcomes for these parallel sectors, which in turn affect the viability of human communities in which they exist. Just as we have emphasized the necessity of coupled biophysical models to interpret climate effects, coupled multi-sectoral models are needed to understand ecosystem and community effects arising from a variety of human-centric perspectives (e.g. Merino et al., 2010; Rice and Garcia, 2011). † There is considerable focus on some climate-related effects on fisheries, but emphasis heretofore is very uneven (Figure 1). Warming impacts attributable to elevated GHGs are best described for species production, phenology, and distribution. In particular, these have been described primarily for ocean fisheries, in select locations. However, in particular, coastal and estuarine-dependent fishery populations have not received commensurate attention. The relationships between sea level rise, loss of coastal habitats, displacement of coastal society, and interactions with other sectors are poorly described in work to date, as are the relationships of sea level rise to continental glacier melt. If we want an integrated approach to understanding the global implications of climate change on fisheries, identifying priorities, and coordinating various independent investigations to achieve an ESM approach should be a focal area. † Latitudinal responses in biodiversity, phenology, and productivity of species and ecosystems to changing climate appear inverse to the adaptive capacity of society to deal with them (Figure 2). These concepts were emphasized by Rashid Sumaila, William Cheung, Edward Allison, Jake Rice, Ian Perry, and others at Sendai. Access to science and adaptation resources thus contribute to the environmental justice issues and challenge the ability of civil society to re-balance the benefits and costs of adapting to an ever more hot, flat, crowded (Friedman, 2009), and acidic future. (Figure 2). S. A. Murawski † The term “attribution” has two different meanings when used in the context of the domains of climate change research and fisheries. In the former, attribution usually means detecting a long-term climate signal attributable to human activities, given the inherent variability (at different scales) in climate data (Hegerl et al., 2006). In the fisheries context, as previously discussed, the issue is the impacts of fishing as a “top-down” controller of populations in contrast to “bottom-up” forcing from climate signals. Given that we are now trying to deconvolve both the fishing effects and the human-induced climate signal affecting marine populations, we need to re-define the attribution question as multiple human-induced signals in combination vs. climate variability (Fulton, 2011; Plagányi et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2011). Understanding relative strengths of the two humanderived drivers represents the singularly important issue from the perspective of climate-fisheries research. † We need some additional methodological work on consistent testing for attributable biological outcomes from climate forcing, which may be non-linear, abrupt (Collie et al., 2004), and under time-dependent multivariate control; and especially methods for predicting critical transitions (Scheffer et al., 2009). † More than in most domains, human metrics are now a part of the observing system for fisheries. This is because of the economic and regulatory environment in which fisheries operate. Discussions at Sendai reinforced the importance of collaborative relationships in understanding varying perspectives on climate impacts and risk tolerances to unknown drivers. Talks by Renato Silvano, Maria Gusalla, and their colleagues highlighted the importance of local environmental knowledge and the developing science of ethno-oceanography as valid and important to a variety of diverse stakeholders. The use of facilitated scenario building illustrated how through a formal process of engagement scientists can explore diverse perceptions and increase communication among various societal groups (e.g. the “fried fish” scenario of strong global warming and the perception of “bad” climate outcomes for fishers, in the talk presented by Marie-Caroline Badjeck, and in the paper of Ianelli et al., 2011). † The concept of “winners” and “losers” is widely acknowledged (e.g. Fulton, 2011) but most of the specific studies reviewed at Sendai and elsewhere in the literature focus primarily on losers. As with terrestrial outcomes in climate change, productivity regimes will likely shift poleward, with range extensions and other outcomes that may have positive economic benefits for some. We need to be intellectually honest and acknowledge where productivity will increase, and also acknowledge changes in phenology which will have unpredictable impacts for ecosystems of interacting species. Figure 2. Several presenters at the Sendai conference emphasized that global change will likely result in distributional impacts on biodiversity and productivity emphasizing poleward shifts in the distribution of species and changes in ecosystem productivity. Importantly, looking at global income distribution, human communities closest to the equator may be the least equipped to deal with adaptations to changes realized in global ﬁsheries and ecosystems; likewise Arctic societies may be less likely to cope. † In the AR4 round of IPCC assessments (Parry et al., 2007), Working Group II analysed about 28 000 ecological datasets; 0.3% of which were marine-derived (a point emphasized by Elvira Poloczanska and co-authors at Sendai). Marine studies represent some of the world’s longest, most comprehensive and most important monitoring series for physical, chemical, and especially biological, phenomena. Given the importance of the oceans as impacted by warming and acidification, it is critical for our (fisheries) community to better represent impacts in the marine realm in the AR5 round of the next IPCC assessment. We need to find ways to combine, analyse, 1371 Summing up Sendai document, and archive the totality of the marine fisheries record, much of which has been collected for uses other than interpreting climate change (e.g. natural resource management). An analytical paradigm for comparative studies that allows combining and interpreting the disparate datasets collected regionally should be a priority. † In offering advice to fisheries managers, the broader management community and the public, some attention needs to be paid to our lexicon. There are multiple ways of describing the retrospective analysis of climate and fisheries as a basis for prognostication. Some of these include: forecasting (e.g. it is going to rain today with x% probability), predictions (specific outcomes will happen), projections (conditioned on a set of specific assumptions about management), scenarios (in a social-behavioural context), assessments (conditioned projections combined with retrospective understanding), and advice (mitigation vs. adaptation). Part of the difficulty is in describing climate, and likely fisheries effects are the time-scales over which such advice is offered. Fisheries traditionally employ two time-frames, with both tactical (year or two ahead TACs, etc.) and to a lesser extent strategic or “equilibrium” long-term average advice” (e.g. yield-per-recruit and multispecies effects). In contrast, climate advice is primarily offered for strategic decision-making (e.g. GHG targets, sea level rise rates). If fisheries decision-makers are primarily focused on short-term advice (e.g. ending overfishing and achieving MSYs as per commitments at the World Summit on Sustainable development) but climate managers’ focus is on the long term, how can we hope to gain support for appropriate mitigation measures for fisheries, given likely climate scenarios (OECD, 2010)? Part of the solution to this time-scale problem lies in better communicating the climate-fisheries impacts of actions (or inaction) to be taken in both arenas. † The ecosystem approach to fisheries (or alternatively ecosystembased management) is likely the only way to simultaneously understand and help society manage these complex issues, so there needs to be additional support for integrated science that serves all these needs. Final thoughts At the beginning of the conference, convener Anne Hollowed stated: I hope that this Symposium will be viewed as the turning point at which the fisheries community became engaged [in climate change issues]. History will, of course, judge the prescience of her statement. Importantly, Sendai was neither a conference on fisheries nor one on physical oceanography and climate science. It was the union and intersection of these disciplines. To make real progress on the many questions that have arisen and that will emerge, new commitments to truly interdisciplinary studies—from climate-to-fish-to-fisheries—need to be forged. They need to be international, intragency, and interscholastic and to bridge the government-private enterprise tensions that arise in regulated industries. Sendai was much more than concurrent sessions regarding fisheries and oceanography; the essential linkages and integration necessary to appreciate the fullest extent of what was required to bridge the two disciplines were explored in depth. There was a palpable sense of the global magnitude of the issues of climate and fisheries that transcend particular regional outcomes. But Sendai can only be the first chapter. What we need is the ability to organize global information into a coherent informatic system, to periodically network among the elements of our science community to forge new linkages, to describe progress, and to create opportunities for new and imaginative studies. Sendai was jointly sponsored by three major international science entities (ICES, PICES, and FAO) as well as tens of other government agencies, partnerships, and foundations. The partnership has to continue, expand, and take responsibility where there is no obvious existing governance institution (formal or informal) currently in place. We simply cannot assume that the critical climate change outcomes in fisheries will be sufficiently well articulated by institutions such as the IPCC that have so much on their plate. Sendai will be a turning point in climate and fisheries only if we all do our best to make it so. Acknowledgements Many thanks to the symposium conveners: Anne Hollowed, Manuel Barange, Shin-ichi Ito, Suam Kim, and Harald Loeng for inviting this contribution and to the speakers, poster presenters, and participants in the meeting for their many contributions furthering the goal of understanding climate change scenarios for global fisheries. 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