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We examine the implications of climate change for fishery governance using seven international fishery case studies in low, mid and high latitudes, including eastern Australia, the western Pacific Ocean, Alaska, west coast United States, Hawaii, west coast Canada and France. Climate change adds uncertainty about fish stock productivity, migratory patterns, trophic interactions and vulnerability of fish populations to fishing pressure.
Fishery governance has to address additional uncertainty from climate change in both the system being governed and the governance systems. The case studies reveal governance issues that indicate adaptation will involve more flexible fishery management regimes, schemes for capacity adjustment, catch limitation and alternative fishing livelihoods for fishers.
Where fishery governance systems have been less developed, fisheries are less able to adapt to climate change impacts. Adaptation involves addressing some of the most intractable allocation issues of fisheries management.