White Paper on climate change includes threats to fisheries

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					White Paper on climate change includes threats to
fisheries
Published: 01/04/2009

Impacts of climate change will be even swifter and
more severe than indicated by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change in their 2007 report, the
European Commission said in its White Paper on the
subject published on April 1.

Repercussions will affect many different areas of
life, including marine life as a whole, and fisheries
in particular. As the impact of climate change will
have varying regional implications, most adaptation
measures will need to be taken nationally and
regionally, the Commission stated.

"Europe's coasts and marine areas are in the
frontline of climate change. We need to get ready to
face coming challenges such as rising sea-levels,
coastal flooding, the impact on coastal tourism and
on ports and shipping, and also on fisheries”, said
Maritime and fisheries affairs Commissioner Joe Borg.
“We cannot deny the importance of coastal ecosystems
to our economy. Today, around 50 per cent of the
European population lives in coastal areas, therefore
efforts to adapt to climate change are crucial and
urgent".

The White Paper presents a framework within which the
European Union and its Member States can prepare for
the impacts of climate change. A first phase of the
strategy will run until 2012 and will lay the
groundwork for preparing a comprehensive EU
adaptation strategy from 2013 and beyond.

It will focus on “increasing our understanding of
climate change and possible adaptation measures and
how adaptation can be embedded in key EU policies”, a
Commission press release said, underlining that
“information content and availability differs widely
across regions”. The paper outlines the need for a
“Clearing House Mechanism”, in which to exchange
information on climate change risks, impacts and best
practices.
Awaiting the publication of the paper, environmental
organisations Seas At Risk and Greenpeace sent a
joint letter to Commissioners Borg and Stavros Dimas
(Environment) stressing the importance of the
integration of climate change adaptation in the
upcoming review of the Common Fisheries Policy, as
well as “relevant fisheries measures that also make
part of our Ocean 2012 objectives”.