Impacts of a Changing Climate on Icelandic Marine Stocks

Impacts of a Changing Climate on Icelandic Marine Stocks

Hreidar Valtysson and Steingrimur Jonsson

Impacts of a Changing Climate on Icelandic Marine StocksThis is part of Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Dynamics of High-latitude Fish and Fisheries
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The purpose of this article is to review the effects of recent climate conditions on marine stocks around Iceland. Since the late 1990s, temperature and salinity levels have increased in Icelandic waters, and subsequently changes have been recorded in several marine stocks, some quite dramatic. Many of these changes have been linked with rising temperature, while others are ambiguous or thought to be due to other reasons such as overfishing. It was generally assumed that with the warming, colder water stocks would decline while warmer water stocks would increase in abundance. Our analysis supports that this happened initially. However, some changes attributed to rising temperature have been reversed despite persistently high temperatures, especially for some southern stocks. Other changes in abundance can be better explained by successful management, or lack thereof, rather than climate effects.

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