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Project N.2.b - Supporting climate-ready and sustainable fisheries: using satellite data to conserve and manage life in the ocean and support sustainable fisheries under climate change

01 Jul 2021 - 01 Jul 2023

Program(s) in charge: Ecosystem & Bycatch Program
  • Produce forecasted dynamic species and vessel distributions under different anomaly and climate change scenarios in the near, mid and long-term based on changing environmental drivers.
  • Quantify shifts in overlap among species and vessels given shifting habitat for both.
  • Understand the impact of climate anomalies, changing oceanographic conditions and future scenarios on forecasted dynamic species and vessel distributions with a specific focus on forecast skill and accounting for uncertainty.
  • Balancing short, medium and long-term sustainability, food security and economic objectives in a changing environment is a challenge to fisheries management.
  • Current conservation measures have not been specifically designed to adapt to a changing environment, particularly in the medium-long term.
  • Previous research has documented distributional shifts of pelagic predators and fishing effort in response to climate-driven changes, but no particular study has been conducted for the tropical tuna and bycatch species in the EPO.
  • A better understanding of climate-induced shifts in the spatial distribution of target and non-target species is needed to develop climate-resilient fisheries.
Relevance for management
Understanding tuna stocks and fishers’ response to medium and long-term changing ocean conditions is important to develop subsequent policy and management strategies and ensure climate-resilient fisheries in the EPO.
24 months, extended to 36 months due to COVID-19
Workplan and status
  • 2021 – Develop vessel distributions models; gather model outputs from target species; assemble projected environmental data.
  • 2022 – Develop forecasted target and vessel distributions; target species and vessels models validation; gather distribution model outputs from bycatch species; develop forecasted bycatch distributions; bycatch models validations.
  • 2023 – preparation of dissemination material; present at the SAC, the Bycatch WG and other IATTC meetings of interest.
External collaborators
San Diego State University-Conservation Ecology Lab, The Ocean Conservancy
  • A series of climate change medium and long-term projected dynamic species distributions for both target and non-target species and vessels.
  • Compilation of reliable environmental data for different climate scenarios.
  • Web-based tools and forecast products. Open source code to allow replication.
  • Dissemination material, including documents and presentations for the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Bycatch working Group in 2021 and 2022.
Updated date: 01 May 2022
Progress summary for the reporting period
  • Several coordination and discussion meetings have been conducted with the FaCet (Fisheries and Climate Toolkit) group in 2020, and 2021, and 2022.
  • In house produced dynamic size-specific tropical tuna species distribution models (e.g. SAC-10 INF-D) have been shared with collaborators, which will be used as a baseline to assess the impact of climate change on species’ future distribution. Similar methods are expected to be applied to some key bycatch species.
  • Dynamic vessel distribution models are being created to infer fleet’s response to species distribution changes.
  • A profound investigation on potential data sources for different climate scenarios is being conducted.
Challenges and key lessons learnt
The uncertainty associated with climate projections may need to be considered in detail, and solutions explored to find the best way to incorporate it in the final products.  
  • A website has been created, here.
  • A presentation was given at AGU 2020.