SPC Heads of Fisheries Meeting Focuses on Climate Change

2 March 2011: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is convening the seventh SPC Heads of Fisheries meeting from 1-4 March 2011, in Noumea, New Caledonia, with fisheries representatives from 14 Pacific Island Countries.

The biennial SPC Heads of Fisheries Meeting provides technical oversight of all SPC work in the field of fisheries and aquaculture, as well as an opportunity to discuss topics of special interest. This seventh meeting includes a special one-day session on climate change.

SPC is currently coordinating the production of a comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of fisheries and aquaculture to climate change in the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories based on information compiled by teams of experts. The session will include presentations from experts on the key results of the assessment.

The session will also discuss: projected changes to surface climate and the ocean, based on different scenarios for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the effects of these expected changes on the habitats that support fisheries and aquaculture in the region; projected effects on the distribution and abundance of the fish and invertebrates underpinning oceanic fisheries, coastal fisheries, freshwater fisheries and aquaculture in the Pacific; implications of alterations to fish stocks due to climate change for economic development, government revenue, food security and livelihoods throughout the region; management measures and policies necessary to capitalize on the opportunities, and reduce the threats expected to occur as a result of climate change; and gaps in knowledge and the research required to fill them. [SPC Press Release]