The implications of warming climate for the management of North Sea demersal fisheries

Cook, R. M. and Heath, M. R. (2005) The implications of warming climate for the management of North Sea demersal fisheries. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 62 (7). pp. 1322-1326. ISSN 1054-3139

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Abstract

Since the 1950s, records from the North Sea show a gradual increase in temperature. Using temperature as a proxy indexing the state of the environment, relationships between recruitment, spawning-stock biomass, and temperature are investigated for major North Sea stocks. Cod, plaice, and sole exhibit significant negative relationships between temperature and recruitment, while there is evidence of a positive effect for saithe and whiting. Stock-recruitment models that incorporate temperature are developed and used to examine implications for the management of these stocks with small increases in mean winter sea surface temperature. These suggest that for cod, minimum safe biomass reference points are unlikely to be achieved even at fishing mortality rates that are considered safe. The same analysis suggests that sustainable fishing for cod is still possible with higher yields than have been experienced in recent years. Crown