UN Meeting: The effects of climate change on oceans

The 18th meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea was held between May 15th and 19th, 2017 in New York. The meeting was themed “The effects of climate change on oceans.”

During the “The effects of climate change on oceans, including environmental, social and economic implications” segment of the meeting, held on May 16, 2017, Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program’s Director of Science, William Cheung, delivered a presentation on the effects of climate change on fisheries. Highlights of Cheung’s presentation include his discussion of projected declines in global fisheries stocks due to changes in seawater temperature, acidity, and oxygen level as a result of anthropogenically-induced climate change.

The meeting had a number of panels on ocean changes, the implications on fisheries and climate change. There was much discussion about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially in relation to the law of the sea, as well as looking for adaptive measures and specific solutions for impacts on coastal communities. Dynamic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were discussed as a means of dealing with climate change effects on fisheries.

Cheung sitting as a panelist during the UN Meeting: The effects of climate change on oceans. Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis