Fish comprises about 20 per cent of the animal protein in the diets of over 3 billion people. The contribution of fish to dietary animal protein can reach 50 per cent in the world’s poorest regions, and up to 90 per cent in small island developing states. As highlighted by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this important role of fisheries is threatened by changes to the environment associated with increased emissions of greenhouse gases, including higher water temperatures and increases in ocean acidification, changing marine fish distribution. Add to that stress from overfishing and land-based pollution dead zones from land-based pollution, all of which reduce fish abundance and species diversity. Aquaculture, a one of the fastest growing animal-food producing endeavors, is affected by warming temperature, displacing species, like fresh water mollusks. Fisheries play a crucial role in providing food security and opportunities to earn income, particularly in developing countries.
Food production systems, including fisheries that wisely use climate information can make better informed decisions at policy, institutional and community levels so as to improve the efficient use of limited resources and increase fisheries production by reducing impacts of climate risks and enhancing opportunities. The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) — established by WMO and its partners FAO, WFP, World Bank, UNDP, WHO, UNESCO and other organizations — supports the development and sharing of information products based on climate predictions targeting the most climate-vulnerable sectors and populations and help to improve food security
To promote awareness of the importance of climate information products and services for fisheries, both capture and aquaculture, WMO as the lead organization of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) has co-organized with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) a lunch-time side event at the fifteenth meeting of the United Nations Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP) (New York, 27-30 May 2014), whose theme, proposed by Norway, is “the role of seafood and global food security”.