8 Nov 2011

Eastern Pacific likely to have higher tuna numbers due to climate change

4:50 pm on 8 November 2011

The 7th Conference of the Pacific Community in Noumea has been told that tuna migration patterns will change due to ocean warming and nations need to begin adapting.

A new book spells out that climate change will adversely affect Pacific coral reefs but that freshwater fishing habitats in the Western Pacific, in countries such as Papua New Guinea, will become more productive.

One of the editors of Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change, the SPC's principal fisheries scientist, Dr Johann Bell, also says tuna are projected to change their distribution patterns in the region.

"So those countries that are in the eastern and central Pacific really have the prospect of having more fish within their EEZs and being able to gain more revenue from selling access to distant water fishing nations."

The SPC's Dr Johann Bell.

The Noumea conference is looking at how climate change will affect food security and sustainable development.