Adapting to Climate Change: Implications for Atlantic Halibut Fisheries in Canada
As the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems continues to grow, adapting to these changes will be crucial for the management of fisheries.
We investigated the relationship between rising ocean temperatures and the increasing abundance of Atlantic halibut, which has recently become Atlantic Canada’s most valuable groundfish fishery.
Our study examines the correlation between historical changes in halibut populations and local thermal habitat and we project future trends in halibut populations under different climate scenarios.
Read this open access paper on the FACETS website.
We found that between 1990 and 2018, the available thermal habitat for halibut increased by approximately 11.6%, and the number of growing degree days (a measure of thermal energy) rose by about 13.5°C·Days across the studied region.
With continued warming, we predict a potential 20.5% increase in the occurrence of Atlantic halibut in Canada by the year 2085 under the highest emissions scenario.
These findings indicate a strong link between changing thermal conditions and the distribution and abundance of halibut. As a result, it is crucial to implement adaptive management practices to effectively respond to the dynamic effects of climate change on fisheries in the future.
Read the paper — Recent and projected climate change–induced expansion of Atlantic halibut in the Northwest Atlantic by Andrew N. Czich, R.R.E. Stanley, T.S. Avery, C.E. den Heyer, and N.L. Shackell.