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Fisheries Management and Climate Change in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea

image of Fisheries Management and Climate Change in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea

A conference on "Fisheries Management and Climate Change in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea" was convened in Bergen, Norway, 17-18 April 2008. The themes covered included climate change-related physical and biological changes in the oceans and the implications for fisheries and aquaculture activities and their sustainable management. It was concluded that there is a need to design monitoring strategies to detect critical changes in species and ecosystems, implement responsive management that can adjust quickly, identify species and ecosystems that are sensitive to changes in climate, anticipate changes in distribution and prepare responses that avoid management conflicts, maintain (or rebuild) resilience of marine ecosystems and fish stocks, and understand the socio-economic consequences of climate change on fisheries. The research that is required to underpin the preceding must be interdisciplinary and ecosystem based. However, the fisheries and marine science sectors in the Nordic countries are currently underfinanced and, therefore, are unable to expand their activities to accomplish this.

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Summing up remarks

Poul Degnbol from the European Commission expressed appreciation that this forum had truly served to communicate complex scientific issues regarding climate change impacts to policy makers and other stakeholders and that the Conference had taken the first steps to understand the policy implications. We need now to work further to develop the policy answer and to implement it. The European Commission is working on a general adaptation strategy which also will include fisheries issues and results from this Conference will be taken onboard. We also look forward to further cooperation with Nordic countries on this matter.

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