IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the study

Climate is dynamic in the sense that analysis of some relevant climate elements revealed that natural forces have enforced change over centuries (Cunningham and Cunningham, 2004) and such changes are inevitable natural occurrences. However, anthropogenic factors have exacerbated climate change in recent times and the impacts on socioeconomic and livelihoods of people, as well as the mitigation and adaptive measures, are current issues that have attained global dimension.

The indications of global climate change as revealed in several studies include increased temperature, estimated at nearly 0.2°C per decade since 1980 (Osborn, 2010), increased precipitation in some areas and a decrease in others and rise in ocean level (Cunningham and Cunningham, 2004). Climate change and the its impacts in Nigeria have attracted the attention of the local scientists and international bodies. Some of the reports and publications with focus on the country include those of Okali (2004), Gwary (2005, 2010), Ajani (2009), DFID (2008) and FAO (2007). Gwary (2010) reviewed the report of DFID (2008) on the predicted changes in temperature and precipitation in the country from 2010-2050. There are some empirical evidences on the impacts of changes in weather pattern on fisheries at the regional and global levels which could provide basis for assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture in Nigeria. Recent natural and man-induced occurrences in the country, such as drought, desertification and floods have links with climate shift. Based on critical analysis of these evidences and events, this study examined the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries, aquaculture, food security and livelihoods in Nigeria and research needs for possible pro-active or mitigation measures.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Climate change has been recognized as the foremost environmental problem of the twenty-first century and has been a subject of considerable debate and controversy. It is predicted to lead to adverse, irreversible impacts on the earth and the ecosystem as a whole. Although it is difficult to connect specific weather events to climate change, increases in global temperature has been predicted to cause broader changes, including glacial retreat, arctic shrinkage and worldwide sea level rise. Climate change has been implicated in mass mortalities of several aquatic species including plants, fish, corals and mammals. This study was undertaken to examine the impact of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture specifically, on the impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture, possible mitigation options and development of suitable monitoring tools.

1.3   Study Objectives.

This study seeks to examine literally the impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture. Specifically, the study examines:

a.   The causes of climatic change on fisheries and aquaculture.

b.   The impact of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture.

c.    The way forward in mitigating and controlling climatic impact.

1.4   significance of the study

The study will be of importance for policy makers, in that it will provide insights as regarding climatic change to enhance their decision making. This study will provide some good knowledge for the fish farmer by answering his/her climatic questions and providing a way out of the situation.

1.5   Scope of the Study

The study has majorly to do with climatic changes as regards fisheries and aquaculture. It overlooks the economic and political factors or the human factor which is quite harmful to the ecosystem. The study accommodates some relevant literatures on the subject matter. The study drew facts and information purely from secondary sources to make this work an academic tool.

1.6   Definition of Terms

Impact: the effect or influence that an event, situation etc has on someone or something

Climate change: a change in global or regional climate patterns, and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Fisheries: The science of producing fish and other aquatic resources for the purpose of providing human food, although other aims are possible (such as sport or recreational fishing), or obtaining ornamental fish or fish products such as fish oil.

Aquaculture: Aquaculture or farming in water is the aquatic equivalent of agriculture or farming on land.


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