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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“Forecasting fisheries in a changing climate.”

The problem

Climate change is no less a reality affecting the marine environment and its resources. Although there is already some evidence of changes in fish stock distributions and the biology of some species, the information is fragmentary and has not yet been drawn together or analysed in a coherent manner. A coordinated assessment of the evidence and potential effects of climate change on fish stocks and their trophic interrelationships is essential if long-term management of sustainable fish stocks is to be achieved.

RECLAIM  Understanding and forecasting fisheries in a changing climate


RECLAIM will summarise current knowledge of the effects of climate change on fish stocks and fisheries. It will:

  • Test process understanding, improve predictive capacity and formulate future research hypotheses for northeastern Atlantic fisheries
  • Review evidence of climate change and its effects on the productivity and distribution of case-study fish and shellfish populations
  • Develop and test hypotheses on the patterns of species and ecosystem changes
  • Develop and test hypotheses on the processes of climate-fish stock dynamic changes
  • Test forecasting simulations of climate change effects on the distribution and productivity of fish populations 

Contribution to policy development:

  • RECLAIM will assist the Commission in meeting the EU’s international commitments for an ecosystem-based approach to fishery management.
  • Increased understanding of the implications of climate change for fish-stock productivity will assist in long-term planning for economically viable and sustainable fisheries.
  • The project will help to reinforce industry’s greater involvement in shaping policy.
  • Information and experience gained will inform the EU’s negotiations with third countries.
  • Project results will inform the debate on future research needs and priorities.

Project deliverables

  • Report on the environmental variables and processes affected by climate change and potential effects on the population dynamics of fish and shellfish – January 2008
  • Reports on changes in hydrodynamic features, fish communities and ecosystems – June 2008
  • Report on how the climate effects the distribution and production of species of contrasting ecotypes – January 2009
  • Reports on the effects of climate change on the early lives of fish, predator-prey overlap, fish community structure, etc. – July 2009
  • Reports on the effects of climate change and fishing on the productivity and distribution of fish and shellfish populations – December 2009
  • Research agenda for climate–fishery studies – December 2009


  • Newsletter – April 2007, December 2009
  • Project website – updated regularly
  • Stakeholder workshop
  • Presentation of progress and findings at various gatherings – as opportunities arise
  • Submission of significant findings for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals – as opportunities arise
  • A compendium CD of principal project reports will be readily available – post project

Technical information

Project acronym: RECLAIM
Project’s official full title: Resolving Climatic Impacts on Fish Stocks
Research priority: Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 044133
Start date: January 2007
Kick off meeting: January 2007
Completion date: December 2010
European Commission scientific officer: Petter Fossum,

Coordinator: Adriaan Rijnsdorp, 
Name: Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies
Abbreviated name: IMARES
Address: P.O. Box 68, 1970 AB IJmuiden
Country: The Netherlands
Tel: +31 255 564670
Fax: +31 255 564644


Name: Fisheries Research Services
Abbreviated name: FRS
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Abbreviated name: CEFAS
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France

Name: University of Hamburg
Abbreviated name: UniH
Country: Germany

Name: Danish Institute for Fisheries Research
Abbreviated name: DIFRES
Country: Denmark    

Name: Institute of Marine Research
Abbreviated name: IMR
Country: Norway    

Name: Stichting Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee
Abbreviated name: NIOZ
Country: The Netherlands    

Name: University of Bergen
Abbreviated name: UiB-GFI
Country: Norway