Murray A, Falconer L, Clarke D & Kennerley A (2022) Climate change impacts on marine aquaculture relevant to the UK and Ireland. UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP). https://www.mccip.org.uk/aquaculture. https://doi.org/10.14465/2022.reu01.aqu
What is happening
● In the UK, there have been no major changes to the types or locations of species farmed due to climate change.
● At salmon farms, a strong link between milder winter temperatures, disease and increased fish mortality has been identified.
● In Scotland, some shellfish areas have experienced poor spat settlement and mortality, but the link to climate change is not fully established.
What could happen
● Temperatures are expected to remain suitable for salmon growth until the end of the century, when aquaculture in Northern Ireland and the southwest of Scotland may experience seasonal declines due to warming.
● Ocean acidification may reduce shellfish spat settlement, although it is unlikely to affect finfish farming.
● Warming conditions will lead to a rise in outbreaks including sea lice, fish diseases and shellfish pathogens, with subsequent increased mortality.
● The risk of mortality due to more frequent and intense heatwave events will increase in the future, highlighting the need for adaptive management.
● Offshore facilities may be more exposed to structural damage due to potential changes in storm events, with an increased risk of farmed species escaping.