Nereus director (science) William Cheung (UBC) and research associate Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on an article recently published in the journal Marine Policy, entitled ‘Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: The current state of knowledge’. For their article, the authors conducted a literature review to investigate currently known and projected impacts of climate change on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem. They found that ocean temperatures have indeed been rising over time, especially in southern British Columbia, during both spring and (more so) in summer. While warming trends were established within the literature, they discovered a large knowledge gap concerning such topics as ocean acidification and other climate drivers that may be contributing to the impacts on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem. One of the main concerns raised by this, is how marine biodiversity and fish stocks in the ecosystem will be negatively affected, with vulnerable species like Pacific salmon, rockfishes, elasmobranchs and other various invertebrates inhabiting the ecosystem. The authors allude to the possibility that should these marine species be affected, there can be ramifications on governance, transboundary fish stock arrangements between the U.S. and Canada, and socioeconomic challenges for fishing access, equity and livelihoods for Canada’s First Nations. These challenges could be especially pronounced in the southern coastal areas of British Columbia, although latitudinal gradient will affect the severity of impacts and result in an uneven distribution of losses in local marine catches. You can read the article and get more information about the study here.
The summary above was adapted from the abstract of reference below:
Talloni-Álvarez, N.E., Sumaila, R., Le Billon, P. & Cheung, W.L. (2019). Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: The current state of knowledge. Marine Policy, 104, 163-176.