By The Year 2300, Global Fisheries Will Be 20% Less Productive

If current trends of fishing continue in our oceans, the world will no doubt face a seafood crisis in the future.

University of California, Irvine scientists expect the world’s fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in the year 2300, with those in the North Atlantic down nearly 60 percent and those in much of the western Pacific experiencing declines of more than 50 percent.

In a study published this week in Science, UCI climatologists outline the results of computer simulations showing a world subjected to nearly three more centuries of unbridled global warming. This bleak future will be characterized by a 9.6-degree Celsius (17 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in mean surface air temperature, nearly 10 times the warming we have seen to this point. The extended climate warming will drastically alter wind patterns, boost ocean surface temperatures and melt nearly all the sea ice in polar regions.

“These conditions will cause changes in phytoplankton growth and ocean circulation around Antarctica, with the net effect of transferring nutrients from the upper ocean to the deep ocean,” said lead author J. Keith Moore, UCI professor of Earth system science.

Photo: Brian Yurasits

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