Assessing the risk of climate change to aquaculture: a national-scale case study for the Sultanate of Oman

Georg H. Engelhard, Ella L. Howes, John K. Pinnegar, Will J.F. Le Quesne

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Abstract

Aquaculture is expanding globally and is an increasingly important component of world food security. However, climate change can impact aquaculture through a variety of mechanisms varying by location and aquaculture type with implications for future productivity. Understanding the risks that climate change poses on different culture systems in different locations is important to enable the design of targeted adaptation and resilience building actions.

Here we present an aquaculture climate risk assessment framework, applied to the aquaculture sector of the Sultanate of Oman, that identifies the sensitivity and exposure of different components of the sector to climate change risk.

Oman has aspirations to significantly expand aquaculture over the next decade focussing on coastal shrimp ponds, finfish sea cages, land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, and ponds and raceways. We quantify overall climate risk as the combination of four risks: (1) species’ temperature sensitivity, (2) flooding and storm surge exposure, (3) low-oxygen hazard and (4) disease vulnerability. Shrimp culture is identified as highest risk due to high exposure of shrimp ponds to flooding and storm surges, and high disease vulnerability. Seabream cage farming also faces high risk due to high thermal sensitivity and high potential of low-oxygen levels affecting sea cages. Following the risk assessment a stakeholder workshop was conducted to identify targeted adaptation measures for the different components of the sector. The framework for assessing climate risk to aquaculture demonstrated here is equally applicable at the regional, national or sub-national scale to support design of targeted resilience building actions and enhance food security.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100416
JournalClimate Risk Management
Volume35
Early online date10 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Aquaculture
  • Climate adaptation
  • Climate resilience
  • Climate risk assessment
  • Food security
  • Seabream culture
  • Shrimp culture
  • Sultanate of Oman

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