8 Nov 2011

Pacific countries told to adapt approach to fishing because of climate change

1:54 pm on 8 November 2011

Delegates to the Pacific Community conference in Noumea have been told there'll be winners and losers from climate change and the way Pacific governments adapt will be vital.

A new book, Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change, has been launched at the conference.

One of its editors, a principal fisheries scientist at the SPC, Dr Johann Bell, says coral reefs will suffer significantly, but higher production is anticipated from freshwater habitats.

"The increased rainfall that's projected to occur in the tropical Pacific will mean that those rivers will flow faster, the flood plain habitats will increase, they will become more productive, there'll be more water around, there'll be a warmer temperature. We are expecting increases in production from freshwater habitats.."

Dr Johann Bell also says the eastern Pacific should have more opportunity to catch tuna because migration patterns are expected to change.