Laura Dee finds that fish catch diversity reduces negative effects of temperature variability

Monday, August 22, 2016

Marine fisheries, an important food source, are likely impacted by temperature variability. Gaines lab recent alumna Laura Dee, collaborating with other lab members Lindsey Peavey, Steve Miller, Darcy Bradley, and Becca Gentry, along with Dr. Sarah Lester, Dr. Richard Starz, and Dr. Gaines himself, set out to examine the consequences of temperature variability for fisheries.  Using data on fisheries catches worldwide, the study, published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, finds within-year temperature variability reduces fishing yields, but diversifying catch in terms of species characteristics (specifically thermal ones) buffers these negative impacts. If functional diversity were reduced to the lowest level in the dataset, the study predicts around a 7% loss in global yields annually given current temperature variability, with larger losses if variability increases with climate change. Based on these findings, management strategies promoting diversified fishing, like encouraging fishers to hold permits for disparate stocks, could maintain more productive fisheries into the future. 

Check out the full press release here

 Dee, Laura E., Miller, S. J., Peavey, L. E., Bradley, D., Gentry, R. R., Startz, R., Gaines, S. D., and Lester, S. E. "Functional diversity of catch mitigates negative effects of temperature variability on fisheries yields." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 283. No. 1836. The Royal Society, 2016.