Climate vulnerability and resilience in the most valuable North American fishery
Climate change is impacting global fisheries and societies that depend on them. Identifying climate adaptation measures requires understanding of how environmental changes and management policies interact in driving fishery productivity. Coincident with the recent exceptional warming of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and removal of large predatory fish, the American lobster has become the most valuable fishery resource in North America. A new PNAS paper by Arnault Le Bris et al. shows that interactions between warming waters, ecosystem changes, and differences in conservation efforts led to the simultaneous collapse of the lobster fishery in southern New England and record-breaking landings in the Gulf of Maine. The results demonstrate that sound, widely adopted fishery conservation measures based on fundamental biological principles can help capitalize on gains and mitigate losses caused by global climate change.