Fishery habitat changes commonly associated with climate change:
- Significant increases in temperature maxima of near-surface ocean waters and estuary waters.
- Changes in dominant current and upwelling/downwelling patterns.
- Coastal erosion and wetland inundation.
- Significant changes in salinity patterns in estuaries.
- Increased toxicity of pollutants and changes in water chemistry.
- Changes in shallow bottom habitats affected by storms.
- Short term changes in temperature and nutrient distribution patterns due to extreme weather events and changes in circulation.
- Other potential storm impacts such as toxic chemical runoff and spills from storm-battered coastal areas and damaged ships.
Biological changes commonly associated with climate change:
- Increases in intensity and extent of red tides.
- Changes in the distribution and composition of species, including fish, as warmer maximum temperatures exclude some species and allow others to move in.
- Exacerbation of other stresses like careless fishing causing commercial extinction of fished species and impoverishment of ecosystems.
- Disruption of food webs and co-dependent groupings of species.
- Changes in nutrient patterns leading to changes in production of primary producers (photosynthetic organisms) that form the base of the food chain.
- Declines of traditionally productive fisheries species in response to new circulation, nutrient, and productivity patterns.
- Nursery areas where fish lay eggs and larvae and juveniles have grown in relative protection, in estuaries and near shore, may become inhospitable — too warm or altered by high waters and storms.
- Demise of species sensitive to chemical changes.
- Depressed recovery of important fisheries species if environmental requirements are no longer met due to climate change.