Nereus’s Vicky Lam, William Cheung, Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor and Oai Li Chen from the University of British Columbia (UBC) are all co-authors on an article with Rashid Sumaila recently published in Science Advances, entitled ‘Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and people’. Using climate-marine ecosystem and economic models, the authors investigated how implementing the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Paris Agreement) could protect top-revenue generating fish species globally, impacting fishers’ revenues, seafood workers’ income and household seafood expenditure. By extending their results of top-revenue generating fish species that would be protected under the Paris Agreement to the entire global catch (~130 million metric tons), annually there’s the potential to protect 9.5 million metric tons, resulting in an increase of $13.1 billion/year in fishers’ revenue, an increase in $10.6 billion/year in seafood workers’ income and a decrease of $18.3 billion/year in household seafood expenditure.

The importance of these results is furthered by the authors’ findings that ~75% of maritime countries would benefit from the protections of the Paris Agreement, and that ~90% of the protected catch would occur within developing countries’ territorial waters. In a time under climate change when other animal protein sources (e.g., freshwater fish, aquaculture and terrestrial animals) are under threat, the Paris Agreement protections would protect a large protein source that an increasing number of people in the world rely on (e.g., ≥50% of animal protein consumed in small island developing states comes from seafood). With the marine fisheries sector employing ~260 million full- and part-time people globally, the authors conclude that “adapting to existing climate change effects and implementing the Paris Agreement are crucial for the future of the world’s ocean fisheries while helping to meet the growing challenges of supporting healthy and peaceful societies into the future, worldwide.”

The above summary was adapted from the reference below:

Sumaila, U.R., Tai, T.C., Lam, V.W., Cheung, W.W., Bailey, M., Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Chen, O.L. and Gulati, S.S., 2019. Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and people. Science advances5(2), p.eaau3855

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