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RECLAIM - Resolving Climatic Impacts on fish stocks

Summary information

Funding:FP6 - Specific Targeted Research Project
Total cost:2990000
Ec contribution:1700000
Start date:2007-01-01
End date:2009-12-31
Duration:36 months
Coordinator:Adriaan Rijnsdorp (
Organisation:Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, IMARES, Wageningen - Netherlands
Themes:Biological impacts; socio-economic consequences
Regio:North Atlantic; North Sea
Keywords:Impacts of climate change on fish and shellfish populations, climate process, ecosystem structure and function
Project name:RECLAIM - Resolving Climatic Impacts on fish stocks
Project summary:Abstract
Climate change will impact fisheries resources and challenge managers to develop sustainable exploitation strategies. Knowledge on the impacts of climate on fisheries resources is still fragmentary. RECLAIM will summarize current knowledge, test process understanding, improve predictive capacity and formulate future research hypotheses by examining trophic processes, geographical distributions and essential habitat requirements for marine and shellfish in the NE Atlantic. A conceptual framework will be developed to distinguish between processes acting on individual (physiology, behaviour), population (predation, competition) and ecosystem (physical habitat qualities, biological productivity, trophic coupling) levels. The framework structures a literature review to detects gaps in knowledge and, where possible, distinguishes between climate and anthropogenic influences. A comparative analysis follows quantifying climate variability and changes in distribution and productivity of (i) individual species, (ii) selected fish and shellfish communities, and (iii) ecosystem structure and functioning. Target species represent different commercially important resources, ecosystem components (pelagics, demersals), and play key trophic roles (wasp-waist, apex predators) within NE-Atlantic ecosystems. Changes in ecosystem structure and functioning will be analysed from fisheries and scientific survey data including planktonic, benthic and fish production and consumption in relation to climate forcing and fishing. Relevant spatial and temporal scales of climate change and variability will be explored using time series analyses, spatial statistics and coupled 3-D hydrodynamic ecosystem models. Using a variety of approaches, RECLAIM will both hindcast as well as forecast the effects of climate change on the productivity and distribution of fish and shellfish stocks to formulate hypotheses and research needs to be addressed in future EU research.

RECLAIM’s approach emphasizes the underlying processes affected by climate change and will:
- provide a review of the knowledge regarding climate change and its impacts on the productivity and distribution of fish and shellfish populations
- develop (and test) working hypotheses on the patterns of species and ecosystem changes
- develop (and test) working hypotheses on the underlying processes of change by data analyses and modelling (hindcasting exercises)
- scenario test the effects of climate change on the distribution and productivity of fish populations (forecasting exercises)
- formulate a suite of hypotheses to be tested and related research needs in future research programs
- include stakeholder participation and a dissemination of the results
Project outputs:An extensive list of project outputs (including project documents, brochures, deliverables and information on project related publications and presentations) are available from the project website.