The United States is urging the 27-nation member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to make climate change and its impact on the fisheries an important issue in the upcoming annual meeting next week.

According to the United States delegation paper before the WCPFC that the organization has already recognized of the importance of preparing the region for the impact of climate change and therefore should be a standing issue included in the meeting agenda.

“Recognizing the urgency of developing a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing impacts of climate change on highly migratory fish stocks in the Convention Area, and any related impacts on the economies of CCMs and food security and the livelihoods of their people, in particular Small Island Developing States and Participating Territories, the Commission tasks TCC and NC to include Climate Change as a standing agenda item and to prioritize discussion of how best to incorporate climate change information and analyses in their work, ‘ the paper stated. 

“Shifting of tuna migration due to climate change will result in uncertain food and economic security. Climate change is a global, urgent issue that requires expedited action by those charged with managing shared natural resources.”

 The US cited that the Fourth National Climate Assessment of the United States, including Pacific territories, describes the impact of rising sea temperatures and decreasing nutrients on tuna abundance and distribution within the western and central Pacific oceans. 

Climate change as a result could decrease fishery yields due to shifts in abundance and growth of tuna species have the potential to impact economies and livelihoods throughout the region.

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