1. Event summary
The Fate of Fisheries in a Climate Changed Worldwas a virtual two-day workshopplanned and hostedby the Environmental Defense Fund’s oceans team. The event brought together experts from the United States and Japan for a discussion on the impacts of climate change on fisheries and marine ecology. This impact was examined through scientific, sociological, and economic lenses, with the ultimate focus ofincreasing resiliency of fisheries to climate changewith better science and adaptive management.
This workshopwas held on the evenings of July 20th and July 21st ET (mornings of July 21st and July 22nd JST). The event was attended by nearly 80 scientists and leaders from the United States and Japan. This included representatives from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Fisheries Research and Education Agency of Japan (FRA) and Fisheries Agency, Japan (FAJ).
2. Goals and organizing themes
The primary, overarching goal in hosting this event was to promote international collaboration between scientists in the United States and Japan. There is growing recognitionof the significant challenge that climate change poses to the health and stability of fisheries worldwide, and that this challenge will only intensify as the effects of a changing climate become more pronounced. While some countries are beginning to emphasize climate resiliency in fisheries management, climate impact is still a relatively new and evolving phenomenon that most countries are not yet considering when designing management plans. It is clear that implementation of these practices at a much larger scale will be necessary to ensure a sound future for global fisheries.
It is also deliberate that this workshop took place between the United States and Japan, two major fishing powers with large EEZs and significant economic reliance on fisheries. Given the vastness of the areas they govern and the longitudinal stretch from tropical to subarctic (arctic for US), climate impacts will be unavoidable and possibly severe. It will be critical to better understand coming changes, identify data gaps, and collaborate in order to mitigate some of those impacts. The experts in the US and Japan are also well poised to provide leadership in this space that other countries can look to as they struggle with similar issues. In addition, Japanese lawmakers recently passed the farsighted Fishery Reform Act, which will increase the percentage of catch managed with science-based catch limits and will expand stock assessments to cover all commercial stocks. Therefore, it is particularly important for Japanese scientists to communicate with one another and work with U.S.-based organizations to ensure that this reform legislation is implemented fully and in a climate-resilient manner.
The overarching objectives for this workshop were therefore 1) to promote a common understanding of climate change-related challenges faced by fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, and 2) to catalyze knowledge sharing and conversation between scientists from the US and Japan so that this understanding can become more advanced, nuanced, and collaborative.
Under these broader objectives, the workshop sought specifically to foster discussion around 1) creating more effective climate forecasts to better equip fisheries for change, 2) identifying and closing key data gaps that are relevant for better management, 3) identifying communities of practice where international collaboration would be beneficial (i.e., pooling data from the U.S. and Japan to facilitate large scale modeling, which can then be utilized by each country in tandem with locally relevant inputs), and 4) creating new connections or deepening existing professional relationships among scientists in the two countries to set the stage for future partnerships. With these goals in mind, the workshopwas designed to maximize interaction among its participants; each day consisted of speaker presentations followed by opportunities to ask questions and concluded with a longer Q&A and discussion section.
- Dr. Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President of Ecosystems and Oceans, Environmental Defense Fund
Welcome Address [Youtube]
- Dr. Francisco Werner, Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, NOAA Fisheries
Leader statement [YouTube]
- Mr. Takashi Koya, Director-General, Fishery Agency, Japan
Leader statement [YouTube]
- Dr. Manuel Barange, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, FAO
Keynote Speech [YouTube]
- Dr. Kaoru Nakata, Executive Director, Japan Fisheries and Education Research Agency
Urgent challenges Japan faces in understanding the impact climate change is having on fisheries [PDF, 1.4MB]
- Dr. Anne Hollowed, Senior Scientist, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Status of U.S. efforts to understand the impacts of climate change on fisheries to inform long term, medium and near term decision making [PDF, 3.8MB]
- Dr. Kristin Kleisner, Senior Director of Oceans Science, Environmental Defense Fund
Creating Climate Resilient Fisheries [PDF, 5.5MB]
- Mr. Masanori Miyahara, Former President, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency
Discussion facilitated by Mr. Miyahara
- Dr. John Mimikakis, Vice President of the Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Brief overview of topics from day one
- Dr. Kirstin Holsman, Research Fishery Biologist, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Understanding long-term scenarios for fisheries: efforts to improve modeling and advice [PDF, 4.5MB]
- Dr. Mike Jacox, Physical Oceanographer, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center & Earth System Research Laboratory
Anticipating medium-term climate shocks: efforts to improve forecasts of marine heatwaves [PDF, 2.3MB]
- Dr. Rod Fujita, Senior Director of Research and Development of Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Adaptive allocation of shifting fish stocks [PDF, 1.1MB]
- Dr. Hiroshi Kuroda, Leader of Subarctic Area Research Group, Marine Environment Division, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Fisheries Resources Institute, Japan Fisheries and Education Research Agency
A very weak state of the Oyashio in recent years: Its relationships with the subarctic gyre in the North Pacific [PDF, 5.3MB]
- Dr. ShirohYonezaki, Deputy Director, Socio-Ecological Systems Division, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Fisheries Resource Institute, Japan Fisheries and Education Research Agency
A very weak state of the Oyashio in recent years: Changes in the distribution of fisheries resources and fishing ground [PDF, 1.1MB]
- Dr. Ichiro Nakayama, President, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency