Are we ready to track climate-driven shifts in marine species across international boundaries? - A global survey of scientific bottom trawl data

Aurore A. Maureaud, Romain Frelat, Laurène Pécuchet, Nancy Shackell, Bastien Mérigot, Malin L. Pinsky, Kofi Amador, Sean C. Anderson, Alexander Arkhipkin, Arnaud Auber, Iça Barri, Richard J. Bell, Jonathan Belmaker, Esther Beukhof, Mohamed L. Camara, Renato Guevara-Carrasco, Junghwa Choi, Helle T. Christensen, Jason Conner, Luis A. CubillosHamet D. Diadhiou, Dori Edelist, Margrete Emblemsvåg, Billy Ernst, Tracey P. Fairweather, Heino O. Fock, Kevin D. Friedland, Camilo B. Garcia, Didier Gascuel, Henrik Gislason, Menachem Goren, Jérôme Guitton, Didier Jouffre, Tarek Hattab, Manuel Hidalgo, Johannes N. Kathena, Ian Knuckey, Saïkou O. Kidé, Mariano Koen-Alonso, Matt Koopman, Vladimir Kulik, Jacqueline Palacios León, Ya’arit Levitt-Barmats, Martin Lindegren, Marcos Llope, Félix Massiot-Granier, Hicham Masski, Matthew McLean, Beyah Meissa, Laurène Mérillet, Vesselina Mihneva, Francis K.E. Nunoo, Richard O'Driscoll, Cecilia A. O'Leary, Elitsa Petrova, Jorge E. Ramos, Wahid Refes, Esther Román-Marcote, Helle Siegstad, Ignacio Sobrino, Jón Sólmundsson, Oren Sonin, Ingrid Spies, Petur Steingrund, Fabrice Stephenson, Nir Stern, Feriha Tserkova, Georges Tserpes, Evangelos Tzanatos, Itai van Rijn, Paul A.M. van Zwieten, Paraskevas Vasilakopoulos, Daniela V. Yepsen, Philippe Ziegler, James T. Thorson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Marine biota are redistributing at a rapid pace in response to climate change and shifting seascapes. While changes in fish populations and community structure threaten the sustainability of fisheries, our capacity to adapt by tracking and projecting marine species remains a challenge due to data discontinuities in biological observations, lack of data availability, and mismatch between data and real species distributions. To assess the extent of this challenge, we review the global status and accessibility of ongoing scientific bottom trawl surveys. In total, we gathered metadata for 283,925 samples from 95 surveys conducted regularly from 2001 to 2019. We identified that 59% of the metadata collected are not publicly available, highlighting that the availability of data is the most important challenge to assess species redistributions under global climate change. Given that the primary purpose of surveys is to provide independent data to inform stock assessment of commercially important populations, we further highlight that single surveys do not cover the full range of the main commercial demersal fish species. An average of 18 surveys is needed to cover at least 50% of species ranges, demonstrating the importance of combining multiple surveys to evaluate species range shifts. We assess the potential for combining surveys to track transboundary species redistributions and show that differences in sampling schemes and inconsistency in sampling can be overcome with spatio-temporal modeling to follow species density redistributions. In light of our global assessment, we establish a framework for improving the management and conservation of transboundary and migrating marine demersal species. We provide directions to improve data availability and encourage countries to share survey data, to assess species vulnerabilities, and to support management adaptation in a time of climate-driven ocean changes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)220-236
    Number of pages17
    JournalGlobal Change Biology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We thank all persons who have collected the survey data around the world. We are also grateful to everyone who answered our emails and provided contacts, expertise and guidance on survey existence and status. We thank Inês Dias Bernardes for providing the survey metadata from the Nansen Program. We are grateful to Christopher Free, who compiled the RAM Legacy Stock Boundary Database and made it publicly available, and to Daniel van Denderen for preprocessing the global fisheries landing data. We thank M. Karp and D. Ovando for providing editorial comments that improved the quality of the manuscript. We thank Myron Peck and one anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments on the manuscript. We thank the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) for providing the space to organize side‐meetings during the Annual Science Conference (Göteborg, Sweden, 2019), at the origin of this project. This work has been performed within the FISHGLOB project “Fish biodiversity under global change – a worldwide assessment from scientific trawl surveys”, supported by the FRB‐CESAB and CIEE. Aurore A. Maureaud was funded by the Villum Foundation (research grant No. 13159 awarded to Martin Lindegren) and conducted the work within the Centre for Ocean Life, a Center of Excellence supported by the Villum Foundation. We further thank the National Institute of Fisheries Science (R2020021) for providing the Korean trawl survey data. The scientific results and conclusions, as well as any views or opinions expressed herein, are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of NOAA or the US Department of Commerce, nor any other government agency. The EU NAFO data used in this paper have been funded by the EU through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) within the National Program of collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


    • bottom trawl survey
    • climate change
    • demersal fish
    • fisheries policy
    • global data synthesis
    • open science
    • species distribution
    • transboundary conservation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Ecology
    • Environmental Science (all)


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