Water Journal : Water Journal November 2012-1
refereed paper carbon footprint water NOVEMBER 2012 81 Abstract Freshwater fisheries in the tropical Pacific play an important role in the food security, livelihoods and culture of people living in inland areas. Human populations in the region are projected to increase by 50% by 2030, increasing the importance of fresh fish as a source of animal protein for human nutrition. A priority of fisheries management is, therefore, to increase fisheries production to meet demand, and to develop strategies to maintain food security and government revenue in the face of climate change. Analysis of information on freshwater environments and projections for B1 and A2 climate change scenarios to 2035 and 2100 identified that equatorial zones are likely to receive an increase in rainfall of up to 20%, leading to increased river discharge of 33% by 2050 in places. In subtropical zones, rainfall is projected to decrease by as much as 20%. Increased river discharge and area of freshwater habitats are likely to dominate other responses to climate change, resulting in increases in fish production by as much as 12.5% by 2100. Sound catchment management to minimise adverse effects on fish habitats from economic development activities will be required to ensure that this potential benefit from climate change can be achieved. Introduction Freshwater fisheries in the tropical Pacific region are much more important than most people realise. The annual catch from freshwater alone is estimated at 24,000 tonnes per year, and provides around 4% of GDP derived from fisheries resources, despite river catchments representing less than 1% of the area fished. Catches of freshwater fish from Papua New Guinea (PNG) alone are four times greater than the total freshwater catch in Australia. The largest catches come from the high islands in Melanesia (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji), which support the largest rivers and lakes in the region. Consumption of freshwater fish in parts of PNG is as high as 100kg per person each year, demonstrating the importance of fish to the livelihoods, nutrition and culture of people living near rivers and lakes. Human populations in the Pacific region are projected to grow by 50% by 2030, generating increasing demand for fish as the main source of animal protein to maintain basic nutritional requirements (Bell et al., 2011). At current catch rates, there is likely to be a shortfall of fish to meet this demand. The governments of Pacific island countries and territories are currently developing strategies to increase fish catches to maintain domestic food security and government revenue through sale of fishing licences and fish exports. However, current projections for climate change suggest that changes in oceanic P Gehrke, M Sheaves, B Figa, D Boseto, J Terry, J Wani, J Ellison An overview of production and management strategies to adapt to population growth and climate change clIMATE chAnGE ProSPEcTS For FrEShWATEr FIShErIES In ThE TroPIcAl PAcIFIc Climate Ecosystems Resources Freshwater fisheries Indirect pathway Direct pathway OceanicconditionsAtmosphericconditions Freshwater habitats Sea level Temperature Catchment condition Rainfall Cyclones Storm surge Temperature El Niño Land use Marine habitats Runoff CO2 pH Figure 1. Conceptual representation of the direct and indirect pathways through which climate change may affect freshwater fisheries.
Water Journal December 2012
Water Journal September 2012-1