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Save the Date / Call for Abstracts - Conference on Climate Change Adaptation for Fisheries and Aquaculture


A Global Conference on Climate Change Adaptation for Fisheries and Aquaculture

FishAdapt: Sharing Practical Adaptation Experiences

Call for presentations and special sessions!

8-10 August, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand


A global conference is being proposed to provide participants the opportunity to share their practical experiences in understanding vulnerabilities associated with climate change and in identifying, prioritizing and implementing adaptation and disaster risk management actions within the fisheries and aquaculture sector and dependent communities.

Climate Change Vulnerability in fisheries and aquaculture

Worldwide, over 600 million people depend, directly or indirectly, on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. Fish provides essential nutrition for over 4 billion people and at least 50 percent of animal protein and essential minerals to 400 million people in the poorest countries. Trade in fish and fisheries products is also important for societies and economies: fish products are among the most widely-traded foods, with more than 37 percent by volume of world production traded internationally. Yet, the fisheries and aquaculture sectors are facing many issues, such as over-fishing, habitat degradation and pollution, and climate change and variability have the potential to compound existing pressures on the sector, but can also provide opportunities.

Climate variability and change is already affecting aquatic systems’ physical, chemical and biological processes - potentially resulting in changes in fish life cycles, habitats, species compositions, distributions or abundance, which can impact fisheries management, livelihoods, food security and sustainable development. Sea level rise and extreme climate events can also have direct impacts on fishing operations and safety-at-sea as well as on the physical infrastructure of coastal communities and communities along rivers and lakes; destroying or severely damaging assets such as boats, landing sites, post-harvesting facilities and roads. Displacement of populations due to high-dam construction is also an issue. There may also be positive opportunities in fisheries associated with locally improved ecosystem and productivity conditions and in aquaculture with sea level rise and expansion opportunities in salinised coastal margins, or with better temperature conditions for local stocks.

Fisheries- and aquaculture-dependent economies, coastal communities and fishers and fishfarmers are expected to experience direct effects of climate change in a variety of ways, such as increased risks of human diseases (malaria, cholera, etc) relating to increased temperatures and displacement and migration of human populations from low-lying areas to less risky areas or to follow changes in fish distributions. One must note that many fishing (both inland and marine) and coastal communities already subsist in precarious and vulnerable conditions because of poverty and rural underdevelopment, with their well-being often undermined by overexploitation of fishery resources, degraded ecosystems and water scarcity. Fisheries and aquaculture-dependent communities often lack ability to anticipate and adapt to climate change and variability and hence they tend to be among the most vulnerable. Climate variability and change can exacerbate food insecurity in areas currently vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.

Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Much can be done at the household, community and sector levels to support the resilience of the sector in a changing climate. For example, fisheries and aquaculture-dependent communities can receive targeted and improved weather and extreme event information, as well as safety of fishing vessels and fishers while at out fishing. The sector can also be supported to improve its monitoring and analysis of local changes and to have access to global information. Other adaptation options include social protection and livelihood diversification as well as support to exit from the sector when needed. Fishing and fish-farming methods and zones can be adapted to the change that is likely to occur and post-harvest processes can be improved to adjust to changing species and to minimize losses due to temperature-related spoilage and disease risks. The adaptive capacity of the aquatic ecosystems can also be improved, such as through implementing the ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture, using natural defences to erosion and storms and minimizing negative impacts of harmful fishing and farming activities to support the general resilience of the ecosystems supporting the sector.

Fisheries and aquaculture systems and communities can also be provided with important enabling environments, such as through secure tenure and access rights to the natural resources upon which they depend. Policy makers and managers can implement adaptive fisheries co-management plans, legislate vulnerability assessments within the sector and ensure that management, development and trade strategies and policies are climate and disaster-proofed. It is also essential to ensure that the needs of the sector are included in broader national and regional climate change discussions and that adaptation and mitigation measures in one sector do not negatively affect food security and livelihoods in other sectors, such as fisheries, through reduced water flows or hard irrigation infrastructure impacting aquatic habitats.

FishAdapt will provide the opportunity to share practical experiences in understanding vulnerabilities and in identifying, prioritizing and implementing adaption and disaster risk management actions. The focus will be on applied vulnerability assessments and on case studies focusing on real-life community impacts. The conference will be the occasion to showcase adaptation planning and implementation activities that work toward building the resilience of livelihoods, governance frameworks, climate and disaster-proofing development strategies, providing technical and process-based actions, as well as reducing the vulnerability context within regions, countries, sectors and dependent communities and throughout the value chains.


Through a series of panels and presentations, collaborative problem solving, interactive workshop events, discussion spaces, participants will exchange experiences and create ideas and best practices on which to act to assist the sector in furthering its efforts to reduce vulnerability and improve resilience to climate variability and change.

The conference will:

  1. Provide countries, fisheries and aquaculture institutions and networks, civil society, private sector, development partners, and academic institutions the opportunity to present their work in fisheries and aquaculture climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
  2. Foster the exchange of information and experiences from case studies and projects which aim to show how climate change adaptation in fisheries and aquaculture and disaster risk management may be implemented in different regional and ecosystem settings among fishers, famers, value chains and dependent communities.
  3. Disseminate the wealth of experiences shared through conference proceedings, which will include selected conferences papers.
  4. Inputs from the Conference will support the development of policy briefs to inform policy makers on best practices on climate change adaptation and risk management.
  5. Increase awareness of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes and inform on how efforts may be communicated to the UNFCCC through, for example, the Nairobi Work Plan, the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Expert Group and the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee activities.
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Call for presentations and posters!

The FishAdapt Conference Committee invites you to submit abstracts for oral presentations or posters to share your experiences in supporting climate change adaptation within fisheries and aquaculture among the following themes:

A. Applied experiences in Freshwater, Coastal or Marine  Fisheries and Aquaculture to:

  • understand vulnerability of fisheries and aquaculture and their dependent communities to climate change and variability along the value chain
  • identify, prioritize, negotiate, implement, and monitor adaptation actions to reduce vulnerability and to realize opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture now and in the future. The scope of adaptation actions could include, but are not limited to:  
    • different scales (from individuals, to communities, sectors, regions and beyond)
    • ecological, social, economic, institutional, governance, technological and operational or informational aspects of adaptation
    • climate variability versus long-term climate change
    • extreme climate events or slow onset events
    • reducing vulnerability to specific climate drivers or vulnerability contexts setting the scene
    • different portions of the value chain (production/harvest, post-harvest and trade)
    • different ecosystems (tropical, temperate in marine, coastal, inland:  lakes, reservoirs, rivers, wetlands)
    • different sub-sectors – commercial, subsistence, aquaculture, and recreational fisheries

B. Linking global, regional and national climate change and disaster risk management processes to fisheries and aquaculture to share efforts in:

  • representing the sector and value chains in national, regional and global climate change adaptation planning processes
  • managing synergies and trade-offs between climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation action in other sectors)
  • accessing climate funding for improving resilience

C. Communicating climate change issues and potential impacts to policy makers, fishers, farmers, fishworkers, scientist, development partners, industry and others for effective planning, implementation, and monitoring

Presentation/poster abstract guidelines:

An abstract is required for everyone presenting oral or poster presentation.

Abstracts can be submitted to climate@enaca.org

Each abstract is limited to 250 characters (no pictures, tables or graphs) and should include the title, names, e-mail addresses and affiliations of the presenters, and a brief summary of their presentation or poster.

Presentation/poster abstract deadline: May 15, 2016

Acceptance notification: May 27, 2016

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Call for  special sessions!

The FishAdapt Conference Committee invites you to submit proposals for special sessions to delve more deeply into areas you feel should be discussed, such as water management, gender, or migration. Flexi- or special sessions are welcome to organize their sessions using alternative formats, such as panels, workshops, marketplaces, and facilitated and interactive sessions.

Special session proposal guidelines:

An abstract is required for everyone wishing to organize a special session.

Abstracts can be submitted to climate@enaca.org

A special session proposal should include the title, aim and scope of the proposed session, and the names, e-mail addresses, affiliations and short bios of the organizers. The proposal can include additional information such as a list of potential contributors and formats for discussions.

Special session abstract deadline: May 15, 2016

Acceptance notification: May 27, 2016


Conference website coming soon with more information on the conference program, venue, registration and travel awards opportunities and Bangkok!


Local Organizer – The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) http://www.enaca.org/


Collaborating partners include

Global Partnership for Climate, Fisheries and Aquaculture (PaCFA)
Agricultural Meteorology Programme at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), IMBER
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
European Bureau for Conservation and Development  (EBCD)
Fisheries & Aquaculture Centre, University of Tasmania
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Environmental Laboratories
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)
Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, Brasil
Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection - NOAA Fisheries
Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA)
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
Rhodes University and GULLS project
Saint Mary's University
Secretary of Pacific Community (SPC)
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
University of Seattle, Washington

Conference funders include the governments of Japan, Norway, Thailand and the USA