The importance of climate change on the distribution, management and productivity of commercial fish stocks is to be the topic of discussion at a University of Aberdeen public event later this month.

Experts from Australia, the USA and the UK will discuss their perspectives on the issue at the event entitled – ‘Climate change impacts on fish distribution and productivity: Implications for Scottish fisheries’ on Wednesday, November 28 at the University’s Zoology Building.

Representatives from the Scottish fishing industry will also be on hand to share their views on climate change and outline how the industry can adapt.

According to the latest special report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are already seeing the major consequences of 1.0°C global warming caused by human activity with future warming estimated to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. Limiting global warming is critically important to reducing risks to marine biodiversity, ecosystems, and fisheries.

The speakers at the event are Gretta Pecl from the University of Tasmania; John Pinnegar from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; Alan Haynie from Alaska Fisheries Science Centre; George R West, skipper of the pelagic trawler Resolute; and Steven Mackinson from the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association.

Alan Baudron, a research fellow at the University of Aberdeen’s School of Biological Sciences, commented: “The dramatic increase in temperatures forecasted for our oceans could have serious implications for marine fisheries and the businesses and livelihoods that depend on them.

“Globally, commercial catches could decline due to the cumulative impacts of global warming on fish distribution, survival, growth, and reproduction.

Tara Marshall, a senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting this event, and are thrilled to welcome our panel of speakers to Aberdeen, who are all leading experts in their fields. They will be joined by two representatives from the fishing industry including a skipper who has been fishing in Scottish waters for four decades. Their combined perspectives about the relevance of climate change for the industry will be interesting and insightful.”

The event, which is funded and supported by Fisheries Innovation Scotland, is open to all. However seating is limited so to book your space, please register here.

For more information about the event, contact Tara Marshall or Alan Baudron.

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