Prince Charles urges sustainable fishing at World Fisheries Congress

Prince Charles
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Prince Charles addressed the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh on the future of sustainable fishing, addressing the international body in his role as the founder of The Prince’s International Sustainability Unit.

He called for 'urgent and collective action' to allow global fish stocks to recover.

The event was attended by 1,000 delegates from more than 65 countries.

The prince warned global fisheries leaders that significant progress would only be achieved if governments, international institutions and even the smallest fishing communities work together.

The event is organised by the World Councils of Fisheries Societies. A 'report card' on the state of fish stocks was also launched at the conference. Its latest findings give clear indications that climate change is affecting fish stocks.

The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) brings together scientists, government, its agencies, non-governmental bodies and industry.
The report said warming sea temperatures were related to changes seen in the depth, distribution, migration and spawning behaviours of fish.

It said cultivated fish and shellfish were both susceptible to climate change.
The partnership also suggested controlled or closed fishing areas that can be adapted in response to climate change have the potential to help protect commercial and vulnerable fish stocks.

The report highlighted the wider impact of climate change on the wider marine food chain and said if some fish species, which are key to the integrity of food chains, are affected then extensive restructuring of the chains will follow.

MCCIP Report Card: Key findings
• There are clear changes in the depth, distribution, migration and spawning behaviours of fish - which can be related to warming sea temperatures
• Cultivated fish and shellfish are both susceptible to climate change
• Controlled or closed fishing areas that can be adapted in response to climate change have the potential to help protect commercial and vulnerable fish stocks
• Recreational sea fishing is an important socio-economic activity that could be positively affected by climate change
• Shifting distributions of fish will continue to have implications for fisheries management across international boundaries
• Some species are key to the integrity of marine food chains. If these are particularly affected by climate change then extensive restructuring of food chains will follow.
• Increasing demand for fish versus decreasing availability may be exacerbated by climate change

More at www.mccip.org.uk/arc