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CIRED Seminar: Elena Ojea (University of Vigo)

by Arancha Sánchez - published on , updated on

Climate adaptation to shifting stocks

Climate change will greatly alter marine ecosystems with implications for conservation and resource management. Changes in species distribution and connectivity are especially worrying for spatial management. For this seminar, I will focus on the role of marine reserves for fisheries management under climate change. Recent analyses suggest that marine reserves (MR) should be relocated as conditions change to ensure effective conservation and sustainable resource management. But it is expected their relocation would carry significant transaction costs, political opposition and biological costs, which raises the question of whether relocation is needed in the first place. To answer this question, we use a set of plausible climate change scenarios using spatially explicit bio-economic models of 7 different fished species in a MR network in the Channel Islands (California, US). We find that for a range of expected changes in larval connectivity and survival, relocation of MRs brings only modest benefits over the currently optimal network, and a well-designed spatial management plan performs surprisingly well under climate change, even without adjustment.