Global warming could cause pacific islands to lose up to 80 per cent of fisheries. <br/> Photo: flickr/Ryan McMinds
Global warming could cause pacific islands to lose up to 80 per cent of fisheries.
Photo: flickr/Ryan McMinds

21.12.2017

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Pacific island countries could lose up to 80 per cent of fisheries, a recent study has found. Countries in the Pacific heavily depend on fish as an important source of food and income.

Many Pacific Island countries and territories will lose 50 to 80 per cent of marine species by the end of the 21st century if climate change and global warming continue unchecked, reports a new study.

“Potential fisheries catches will decrease by more than 50 per cent in many regions in the South Pacific,” says William Cheung, associate professor, University of British Columbia, and co-author of the study published in the November issue of Marine Policy.

A decrease can happen in both scenarios — business-as-usual (increase in temperature above three degrees Celsius by 2100) and strong mitigation (below 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2100) — but to a lesser extent in a low emissions scenario. According to the study, fisheries catches are expected to fall by more than 50 per cent by the year 2050 for the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Niue and Tuvalu.

Such losses will be dramatic as most countries in the Pacific are dependent on fisheries for food and livelihoods.

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