In response to fisheries declines and delayed population recoveries, many management agencies globally are integrating alternative strategies that incorporate precautionary and ecosystem considerations, increasingly focusing on climate variability and change. Here, we quantitatively evaluate how these themes have been incorporated into the science and management plans for Canada’s fisheries by analyzing the content of 905 research and management documents published by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for the Atlantic and Eastern Arctic regions. We found that the precautionary approach was mentioned much more frequently (44%) than climate change (11%) or ecosystem approaches to fisheries management (1%). Of research documents that mentioned climate change, 61% contained only a single reference to it, suggesting that it is not quantitatively evaluated in the science that informs the advisory and decision-making processes. Most references to climate change in the DFO research documents expressed high uncertainty of how climate change would impact the stock dynamics. We propose explanations for this and discuss approaches for increasing the incorporation of these themes into Canada’s fishery management.
Boyce, D. G., Fuller, S., Karbowski, C., Schleit, K., & Worm, B. (2021). Leading or lagging: How well are climate change considerations being incorporated into canadian fisheries management? Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 78(8), 1120–1129. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2020-0394
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