Policy briefing: Mitigating climate change impacts on food security from the ocean
This WWF briefing describes how climate change is impacting fisheries and food security, and highlights the European Union’s role in mitigating these impacts both for EU citizens and for developing countries. Seafood is the primary protein source for an estimated three billion people globally, while an equal number depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. In the EU alone, fisheries, tourism and shipping industries provide millions of jobs to coastal communities, forming the backbone of Europe’s blue economy.
Global seafood consumption has more than doubled over the past 50 years with up to 200 million tonnes of fish predicted to be taken from the sea annually by 2030. In addition to the increasing demand on ocean resources, scientists warn that warmer marine environments make it more difficult for species to recover their populations, due to shifting habitats and food webs.
Despite mounting evidence, very little has been done thus far to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change to marine life and ensure future resilience of our fisheries and seafood supply. Indeed, strengthening adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries will support sustainable economies, benefitting both humanity and the ocean.