Fish-dependent countries face climate change threat: study
The WorldFish research centre identified 33 countries as "highly vulnerable" to the effects of climate change because of their heavy reliance on fisheries and limited alternative sources of protein.
Many of the group, which takes in the African nations of
"Low-lying highly populated countries like
"As fish is central to many economies and diets, people in the tropics and subtropics will be affected as they have a limited ability to develop other sources of income and food in the face of such change," he added.
"The damage will be greatly compounded unless governments and international institutions like the World Bank act now to include the fish sector in plans for helping the poor cope with climate change."
Global fisheries provide more than 2.6 billion people with at least 20 percent of their average annual protein intake, the study said, citing UN data. The report, prepared by the Malaysia-based WorldFish and a number of universities and research groups, said climate change threatened to destroy coral reefs, push salt water into freshwater habitats and produce more coastal storms.
It said that the 33 "highly vulnerable" countries produce 20 percent of the world's fish exports and that they should be given priority in efforts to help them adapt to climate change.
Two-thirds of the most vulnerable nations are in
Allison said the next step would be to investigate the impact climate change will have on these countries and the cost of adapting to the new environment.
He said a lack of data meant researchers were unable to include 60 nations including the tiny Pacific states of Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, and the military dictatorship of Myanmar, that were likely to be highly vulnerable.
source: Agence France-Presse