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Seafood Sector Climate Change Adaptation

In terms of future climate changes for Irish waters, indications suggest there will be continued warming of Irish waters consistent with global ocean projections along with increased precipitation in winter and decreased precipitation in summer. Coastal areas and sea-fishing activities face the threats of an increase in the frequency of storm surge events, increased extreme wave heights in most regions and the continued rise in sea levels.

The impacts of climate change on the seafood sector are likely to include:

  • Increased damage to fishing vessels, fishing gear and seafood infrastructure from the increased severity of storms.
  • A change in traditional fisheries as the distribution of certain fish stocks move northwards due to increasing sea temperatures.
  • Increased ocean acidification is expected to lead to reduced shell growth in commercially important seafood species such as oysters and mussels.

In order to support climate change adaptation in the seafood sector a range of climate change adaptation actions were prepared as part of the statutory Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan. Adaptation Actions include:

  • Continue support for focused climate related research in the agriculture, forest and seafood sector.
  • Engage with industry to support the sector in building resilience in their systems and practices.
  • Raise awareness of health and safety issues arising for those working in the sector particularly at primary producer level.

The Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan, associated documents and consultation submissions can be viewed here.

The case studies at Annex 1 of the plan help develop a deeper understanding of how climate change will impact the sector and promote the discussion on climate adaptation.

Information Leaflet

An Information Leaflet (pdf 909Kb)  has been prepared providing details on Climate Change Adaptation for the Seafood Sector.