"The supply of farmed seafood such as salmon and mussels are projected to drop
16 per cent globally by 2090 if no action is taken to mitigate climate change,
according to a new UBC study.
Ocean-farmed seafood or mariculture is often seen as a panacea to the problems
of depleted stocks of wild fish and growing human demand, and is expected to
grow substantially in the coming years, says lead author Dr. Muhammed Oyinlola
(he/him), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for the Oceans and
Fisheries (IOF). But the new modelling study highlights the industry is as
vulnerable to the effects of climate change as any other. “If we continue to
burn fossil fuels at our current rate, the amount of seafood such as fish or
mussels able to be farmed sustainably will increase by only eight per cent by
2050, and decline by 16 per cent by 2090.”
By comparison, in a low emissions scenario where the action is taken to
mitigate climate change, mariculture is projected to grow by about 17 per cent
by the mid-21st century and by about 33 per cent by the end of the century,
relative to the 2000s.
The model takes into account many factors, including changing ocean
temperatures, suitable mariculture areas in the future, and the supply of
fishmeal and fish oil. It examined approximately 70 per cent of the world’s
mariculture production as of 2015, focusing on Exclusive Economic Zones, where
most of the world’s seafood farming occurs.
Climate change will affect mariculture production differently depending on
where farms are in the world, and what they produce, says Dr. Oyinlola. The
hardest-hit regions in the high-emissions scenario— Norway, Myanmar,
Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and China—could see their mariculture production
decline by as much as 40 to 90 per cent.
Climate effects on mariculture include changes in the area of viable ocean in
which to farm fish as well as the stock of food used to feed them. Fish farms
tend to use fishmeal and fish oil, which are largely composed of smaller fish
such as herring and anchovy – stocks which are also threatened by climate
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics