Cluster Fisheries

The picture shows a fishing boat on the high seas. The shot was taken from the railing and is directed into a fishing net.Click to enlarge
Source: Photograph: © SINNBILD Design /

2019 Monitoring Report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change


In the same way as agriculture and forestry, fisheries are dependent on the availability and regenerability of natural resources. If there are changes in the size and location of fish stocks, and if there are changes in the plant and animal communities, this will directly affect the conditions prevailing in the fishing industry. In principle this applies equally – albeit in different ways – to both marine and freshwater fisheries.

As far as changes in marine fish stocks are concerned, there is an additional factor to be taken into account: Rising sea levels and frequent storm surges impact on coastal habitats thus affecting also the coastal opportunities for catching fish. In the case of freshwater aquaculture the debate starts with bottlenecks in the availability of water for managing fish ponds and extends to the adverse consequences of rising water temperatures as well as heavy precipitation events and floodwater, especially where salmonids such as trout and salmon are bred which depend on particle-free and oxygen-rich water.

So far, no specific adaptation measures have been described either for marine or for freshwater fisheries. In respect of marine fisheries, theme-specific discussions, especially regarding the call for a curb on overfishing, are often linked to adaptation measures, as it can be assumed that sustainably used fish stocks will be more resilient to climate-related changes than overfished stocks. And yet, in negotiating fishing quotas, climate change has so far been left out of the equation. So far, in freshwater fisheries, the debate has been dominated by other management challenges.

Effects of climate change

Thermophilic fish species in North Sea and Baltic Sea (FI-I-1)

Developments in freshwater fisheries still uncertain (FI-I-2)

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