Journal Article

The implications of warming climate for the management of North Sea demersal fisheries

R.M. Cook and M.R. Heath

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 7, pages 1322-1326
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.04.023
The implications of warming climate for the management of North Sea demersal fisheries

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Since the 1950s, records from the North Sea show a gradual increase in temperature. Using temperature as a proxy indexing the state of the environment, relationships between recruitment, spawning-stock biomass, and temperature are investigated for major North Sea stocks. Cod, plaice, and sole exhibit significant negative relationships between temperature and recruitment, while there is evidence of a positive effect for saithe and whiting. Stock-recruitment models that incorporate temperature are developed and used to examine implications for the management of these stocks with small increases in mean winter sea surface temperature. These suggest that for cod, minimum safe biomass reference points are unlikely to be achieved even at fishing mortality rates that are considered safe. The same analysis suggests that sustainable fishing for cod is still possible with higher yields than have been experienced in recent years.

Keywords: climate change; cod; demersal fish; fishery management; haddock; North Sea; plaice; saithe; sole; whiting

Journal Article.  2680 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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