UN Report on Climate Change Warns of Risk to Seafood Supplies

Researchers with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have raised concerns that ocean acidification and global warming are interfering with the way fish interact in groups, posing a threat to their survival that could impact seafood supplies.

In a new report, they note that marine ecosystems worldwide have shown an increased dominance of warm-water species following seawater temperature rise, with parallel changes in the species composition of fish catches since the 1970s.

The report was released in February through IYBSSD 2022, the UN International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development, and is available on the website of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center.

Total global fish catches amount to 80-105 million tons annually, generating over $80 billion in U.S. dollars in revenue, the report said.

Researchers also pointed to the use of controlled laboratory conditions to observe how species interact and behave in new ways—to the detriment of marine ecosystems—due to changing temperature and acidification.