CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL FISH PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF RIVERS STATE

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CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL FISH PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF RIVERS STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Global marine fisheries not only face over fishing, pollution and other anthropogenic impacts, but also climate change (Halpern et al., 2008;
Pauly et al., 2002). Climate change is the most widespread anthropogenic threat for ocean ecosystems (Halpern et al., 2008), causing sea level rise, sea temperature change, ocean acidification, changes in precipitation and changes in ocean circulation (Brander, 2007). These
climate effects on ocean conditions will impact ocean organisms, the composition of marine communities and ecosystem function (Brown
et al., 2010), increasing the complexity of the challenges facing current fisheries (Sumaila et al., 2011). Climate change impacts fish stocks
either directly or indirectly. Direct impacts affect the physiology and behavior and alter growth, reproductive capacity, mortality and
distribution. Indirect effects change the productivity, structure and composition of the marine ecosystems on which fish depend (Brander,
2010; Hare et al., 2010; Perry et al., 2005). Changes in the geographic distribution of fish species in marine ecosystems have already been
documented throughout the world (Barange and Perry, 2009; Brander et al., 2003; Perry et al., 2005), and several studies have predicted that
changes in water temperature, driven by climate change, may lead to local extinctions and also to colonization by species previously absent
in those areas (Cheung et al., 2009; Vinagre et al., 2011). These shies in geographic range will most likely affect the abundance, distribution
and composition of fisheries catches, and consequently fishing operations, catch shares and the effectiveness of fisheries management
measures (Gamito et al., 2013; Kim, 2010; Sumaila et al., 2011). However, these effects might not necessarily be negative, as new fishing
opportunities may also arise in some areas of the world. The effects of climate change on fisheries may then be regarded to act on resource
availability, fishing operations, fisheries management and conservation measures and profits from fisheries (Cheung et al., 2012). Both the
observation of recent climate change and predictions of climate change in future scenarios show that the effects of climate change will not
be homogeneous throughout the world (IPCC, 2007). Belkin (2009) has studied changes in sea surface temperature (SST) in large marine
ecosystems (LMEs). LMEs are large coastal areas with broad ecosystem similarities, such as bathymetry, hydrography, productivity and
trophically dependent populations (Sherman and Duda, 1999; Watson et al., 2004). Belkin (2009) has found a coherent global pattern of rapid warming
in LMEs, from 1982 to 2006. This rapid warming (net SST change higher than 0.6 ºC) was observed for three groups of LMEs:
(1) Scotian Shelf, Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf, Canadian Eastern Arctic-West Greenland, Iceland Shelf and Sea, Faroe Plateau and
Norwegian Sea; (2) North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Iberian Coastal and Celtic-Biscay Shelf; (3) Yellow Sea, East China
Sea, Japan/East Sea and Kuroshio Current. A slow warming was observed in the Indian Ocean LMEs and most LMEs around Australia and
between Australia and Indochina. The only cooling LMEs were the California Current and the Humboldt Current, both located in the Eastern
Pacific up welling areas. As the LME spatial system groups together large coastal areas with similar ecosystem characteristics, this
methodology has recently been used for several large-scale marine studies (Merino et al., 2012; Pauly et al., 2008; Pikitch et al., 2014;
Sherman and Duda, 1999; Watson et al., 2004). From a global perspective, analyses on the LME scale are extremely valuable for marine
ecosystem-based management. And, as climate change increases the complexity of fisheries management, it is of the utmost importance
that these analyses include the effects of climate change on fisheries. Therefore, the present paper aimed to analyse climate change and
global fish performance.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

There is an increasing concern over the consequences of climate change and fish performance and the state of marine ecosystems. Climate
change is an additional pressure on top of the many (fishing mortality, loss of habitat, pollution, disturbance, introduced species) which fish
stocks already experience. This means that the impact of climate change must be evaluated in the context of other anthropocentric
pressures, which often have greater and more immediate effects. It will be proper to assemble and analyse evidence of effects of climate on
fish performance in order to (i) show that climate affects the distribution, productivity and resilience of fish stocks, (ii) develop our
understanding of the processes, and (iii) draw lessons from past experience. The scientific study of the impacts of climate change on fish
performance has developed very rapidly, but is unevenly spread geographically and methodologically. Until the past decade or so the
principal subject for investigation was the elated work
on regime shies and on distribution changes.

1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to examine the eect of climate change and global fish performance. Other general objectives of the
study are:

  1. To examine the nature of climate change.
  2. To examine fishery performance and its adaptation on climate change.
  3. To examine climate change and its effects on fish production.
  4. To examine the problems fish farmers face due to effects of climate change.
  5. To examine the relationship between climate change and global fish performance.
  6. To suggest the strategies for alleviating the impacts of climate change on agricultural practices in Nigeria.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings of this study will be beneficial to government, agricultural extension workers, farmers and other researchers. The study will
provide information on the perceived extent to which climate change has impacted on fishery performance. The information will help
government to encourage and support farmers in fish production activities. The knowledge of the findings would help the government to
make policies on how to check climate change and fish production in Rivers state and Nigeria in general. The study will provide information
to fish farmers on adaptation strategies, which they could adapt to in such situations. One of the purposes of the study is to discover the
suitable strategies for alleviating the impact of climate. The findings of the study would help the fish farmers to reduce the impact of climate
change on fish performance. The study will suggest to the fish farmers suitable adaptation options in coping with climate change effects on
fish farming. An understanding of the impacts of climate change would help the framers to mount appropriate strategies to keep fish
farming profitable to matching the varying trend in its activities. The study could be used as a resource material on climate change and fish
performance for researchers who may be interested in researching on related topics. The research is equipped with the findings of climate
change and fish performance in Rivers state.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is based on the effect of climate change and global fish performance in Rivers state.

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or
information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on
the time devoted for the research work.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL FISH PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF RIVERS STATE

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL FISH PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF RIVERS STATE