Vulnerability of the Northern Adriatic Sea Fishery to Climate Change
AbstractWithin the context of marine environments, nekton assemblages are recognised to provide several kinds of ecosystem services, both fundamental and demand–derived. They contribute, indeed, to enhance the biodiversity, the ecological processes and finally the system resilience. They also directly support the production of goods, such as in the case of renewable resources exploited by commercial fisheries. The problem of the impacts of climate change on this component of marine ecosystems, with the related consequences on ecosystem services, becomes therefore an interesting issue. In this context, the northern Adriatic Sea, hosting several species adapted to boreal climatic conditions, can be considered a good case study. By analysing the composition of landings from fisheries in terms of thermal affinity groups, we highlighted the potential vulnerability of these activities. Catches, indeed, were shown to be mainly composed of cold and temperate affinity species, whereas the contribution of warm ones resulted very low. Given the significant negative relationships between the cold and temperate groups with the recorded variations of the thermal regime and the latest projections by the IPCC in terms of ocean temperature raise, fishing activities, both professional and recreational, can be expected to experience severe consequences.