Dr. Christopher Free1, Dr. Christopher Costello1, Dr. Steven Gaines1, Ms. Tracey Mangin1
1University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA
Marine fisheries are shifting distributions and changing productivity in response to climate change. While net global productivity is not expected to change significantly under most emissions scenarios, poleward shifts in species distributions are projected to result in dramatic changes to regional productivity. Maintaining equitable ocean food provisioning will therefore require an adaptable seafood trade network and the establishment of new trade partnerships. Here, we use bilateral seafood trade data and species distribution models to evaluate the impact historical environmental change has already had on global seafood trade and anticipate vulnerabilities of the global seafood network to forecasted environmental change. First, we use AquaMaps climate envelope data to parameterize species distribution models for >25,000 marine fish and invertebrates. By assuming that population carrying capacity scales linearly with range size and using meta-analytic estimates of population growth rates, we estimate both shifts in distributions (i.e., location) and productivity (i.e., food potential) under historical (1950-2015) and future environmental change (2015-2100). Second, we identify instances where historical climate change impacted global seafood trade flows and highlight examples where inflexible trade agreements hindered adaptation to shifts in fisheries production. We then identify notable vulnerabilities and opportunities in global seafood trade under future climate change. This flexible, open-source model will help identify the new trade
Chris Free is a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UC Santa Barbara where he works on fisheries and climate change, data-limited stock assessment, and marine protected area effectiveness.