Fisheries Vulnerability to Climate Change

Vulnerability of the fishing industries of coastal countries to climate change

  • Source: SU/UTokyo/JCU/UWaterloo

The Fishery Vulnerability Index was developed by Blasiak et al., with support from the World Climate Research Programme, and calculates the vulnerability of fishing markets from the effects of climate change on fisheries around the world, using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definition of vulnerability as a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Data on global sea surface anomaly predictions according to various RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) scenarios are combined with various socioeconomic data sets that illustrate the sensitivity of countries' fisheries (i.e., number of fishers, fisheries export as percentage of total, proportion of the economically active population (EAP) working as fishers, total fisheries landings, nutritional dependence) and overall adaptive capacity of the country's population/government/fishing industry (i.e., healthy life expectancy, literacy rate + school enrollment, governance, gross domestic product per capita, subsidies per landed monetary volume, proportion of industrial to small-scale fisheries) to determine the overall vulnerability of national fisheries. 147 coastal countries have an index score for different scenarios for 2016-2050 and 2066-2100. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Vulnerability to the Effects of Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries


These projections are all speculative and could have inaccuracies. Caution should be used when using projections for any decisions that may have any negative consequence.

Suggested citation

Blasiak R, Spijkers J, Tokunaga K, Pittman J, Yagi N, Österblom H (2017) Climate change and marine fisheries: Least developed countries top global index of vulnerability. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0179632. through Resource Watch, (date).


Stockholm University (SU)
University of Tokyo (UTokyo)
James Cook University (JCU)
University of Waterloo (UWaterloo)

Geographic coverage


Spatial resolution


Date of content

2016-2050, 2066-2100


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