Sensitivity of fishery resources to climate change in the warm-temperate Southwest Atlantic Ocean

Published in Regional Environmental Change volume 23, Article number: 49

Ignacio Gianelli,  Luis Orlando,  Luis Gustavo Cardoso,  Alvar Carranza, Eleonora Celentano,  Patricia Correa,  Andrés de la Rosa, Florencia Doño, Manuel Haimovici, Sebastián Horta, Andrés Javier Jaureguizar, Gabriela Jorge-Romero, Diego Lercari, Gastón Martínez, Inés Pereyra, Santiago Silveira, Rodolfo Vögler & Omar Defeo 

Publication year 2023
IAI Program
  • the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. I.G., O.D., 
  • the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (Grant SGP-HW017). 
  • the Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica (CSIC Grupos ID 32)
  • the Brazilian National Scientific and Technological Research Council (CNPq, grant 307994/2020&ndash1).
IAI Project SGP-HW017
PDFSensitivity of fishery resources to climate change in the warm-temperate Southwest Atlantic Ocean.pdf


Climate change impacts on fishery resources have been widely reported worldwide. Nevertheless, a knowledge gap remains for the warm-temperate Southwest Atlantic Ocean&mdasha global warming hotspot that sustains important industrial and small-scale fisheries. By combining a trait-based framework and long-term landing records, we assessed species&rsquo sensitivity to climate change and potential changes in the distribution of important fishery resources (n&thinsp=&thinsp28 i.e., bony fishes, chondrichthyans, crustaceans, and mollusks) in Southern Brazil, Uruguay, and the northern shelf of Argentina. Most species showed moderate or high sensitivity, with mollusks (e.g., sedentary bivalves and snails) being the group with the highest sensitivity, followed by chondrichthyans. Bony fishes showed low and moderate sensitivities, while crustacean sensitivities were species-specific. The stock and/or conservation status overall contributed the most to higher sensitivity. Between 1989 and 2019, species with low and moderate sensitivity dominated regional landings, regardless of the jurisdiction analyzed. A considerable fraction of these landings consisted of species scoring high or very high on an indicator for potential to change their current distribution. These results suggest that although the bulk of past landings were from relatively climate-resilient species, future catches and even entire benthic fisheries may be jeopardized because (1) some exploited species showed high or very high sensitivities and (2) the increase in the relative representation of landings in species whose distribution may change. This paper provides novel results and insights relevant for fisheries management from a region where the effects of climate change have been overlooked, and which lacks a coordinated governance system for climate-resilient fisheries.