Impacts of climate change on aquaculture

TitleImpacts of climate change on aquaculture
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCollins, C, Bresnan, E, Brown, L, Falconer, L, Guilder, J, Jones, L, Kennerley, A, Malham, S, Murray, A, Stanley, M
Book TitleMCCIP science review 2020
PublisherMarine Climate Change Impacts Partnership

Aquaculture is a significant industry in UK coastal waters, with annual turnover valued at more than \pounds1.8bn. It particularly important in western and northern Scotland.  Aquaculture is sensitive to the marine environment and changes therein.  The dominant contribution of a single species (Atlantic salmon) to production tonnage and value potentially increases vulnerability to climate change.  Temperature increase is expected to increase growth rates for most species farmed.  Increased problems associated with some diseases and parasites, notably sea lice and gill disease (which has emerged as a serious problem), are likely to increase in the short term and to get worse in the longer term. Impacts may be synergistic.  Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and jellyfish swarms/invasions may also get worse, however complex ecosystem interactions make responses uncertain.  The situation for shellfish is similar to finfish, although they are additionally at risk of accumulation of toxins from HABs, and recruitment failure, and, in the longer term, to sea-level rises and ocean acidification.  Technical and management changes in the rapidly evolving aquaculture industry make long-term impacts of climate change difficult to forecast.