Title Climatic Regime Shifts and Cooperative Fishery Management
Type Research
Abstract Climate regime shifts occur at irregular intervals and have profound and persistent impacts on ocean temperature and circulation patterns and on the dynamics of marine fish populations. Despite a growing scientific literature and some attention to the implications of such regime shifts for domestic fisheries, the issue has received little attention in the context of international fishery management. However, unanticipated long term climate regime shifts have played a significant role in destabilising international fisheries cooperation. This project explores the connection between climate-related uncertainty and the instability of international fisheries regimes. The project team has produced several papers that review the scientific evidence regarding the impacts of such climate regime shifts on commercially important fish stocks, and draw upon case studies in the Atlantic and Pacific to demonstrate how such natural events can alter incentives to cooperate, sometimes leading to destructive fish wars. The work also addresses the role of science in the management of shared fish resources, and examines institutional options for improving the resilience of cooperation to natural shocks.
Participants Kathleen Miller
Gordon Munro (University of British Columbia)
Robert McKelvey (University of Montana)
Peter Golubtsov (Moscow State Lomonsov University, Russia)
Trond Bjørndal (Centre for Fisheries Economics SNF and Cemare, University of Portsmouth, UK)
Start Date 2004
Funders NSF
Keywords climate, international fisheries
Research Themes Use of Scientific Information in Decision Processes
Climate-Ecosystem-Human Interactions


"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)