Climate change, fisheries management and fishing aptitude affecting spatial and temporal distributions of the Barents Sea cod fishery
Climate change is expected to influence spatial and temporal distributions of fish stocks. The aim of this paper is to compare climate change impact on a fishery with other factors impacting the performance of fishing fleets. The fishery in question is the Northeast Arctic cod fishery, a well-documented fishery where data on spatial and temporal distributions are available. A cellular automata model is developed for the purpose of mimicking possible distributional patterns and different management alternatives are studied under varying assumptions on the fleets’ fishing aptitude. Fisheries management and fishing aptitude, also including technological development and local knowledge, turn out to have the greatest impact on the spatial distribution of the fishing effort, when comparing the IPCC’s SRES A1B scenario with repeated sequences of the current environmental situation over a period of 45 years. In both cases, the highest profits in the simulation period of 45 years are obtained at low exploitation levels and moderate fishing aptitude.