Fishing vessel

As ocean temperatures rise, many fish species are shifting their ranges and moving to cooler waters.

That means fishing fleets often have to travel farther to catch them, which takes time and money.

“So in areas like the Pacific Ocean, where it’s just so vast that you need to actually have the capacity, the gasoline, the crew, the timing, to follow the fish around, it’s becoming a massive issue,” says Rachel Gregg, a senior scientist at the nonprofit EcoAdapt.

She says some companies are using climate data to make their expeditions more efficient.

“A lot of it is based on trying to get more fine-scaled research around specific species and how they are moving, where they are likely to go,” Gregg says, “so that you can actually start to predict and time your operations a little bit better.”

But many companies – especially smaller ones – are making more drastic changes. Gregg says some are fishing for different species or taking a new approach.

“Like moving on to aquaculture or fish hatcheries, trying to actually farm these species instead,” she says.

Gregg says climate change is bringing new challenges, but fishermen are used to adjusting as conditions shift.

“People who undertake fishing for a living already have adaptation in their blood,” she says.

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Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Species & Ecosystems