Bo Jiang and Gary LaFree have published a paper which tests the possibility that climate change affects participation in maritime piracy, depending on the specific ways that it impacts regional fish production.
Their analysis is based on piracy in East Africa and the South China Sea. These two regions are strategic in that both areas have experienced a large amount of piracy. However, rising sea temperatures have been associated with declines in fish production in East Africa but increases in the South China Sea.
- Decreases in fish production bring about a larger number of successful piracy attacks in East Africa
- Increases in fish production are associated with fewer successful attacks in the South China Sea.
- Climate change continues, its impact on specific crimes will likely be complex, with increases and decreases depending on context.
Warmer temperatures have an impact on the species that can be farmed in particular locations as well as the abundance, migratory patterns, and mortality rates of wild fish stocks. This has an effect on fish and their habitats. As a result, many who rely on fishing as a source of income are unable to support themselves.
Tackling maritime crime is complex as the ocean is huge and needs special regulatory and incident response frames. However, the fact that piracy can be reduced on land is the study’s most significant finding. Fishermen are less likely to turn to piracy as a method of survival if they are given secure, sustainable jobs and funds.
Furthermore, the issue of climate change is far more complicated than what can be seen on the surface. Numerous people who depend on particular conditions are also impacted in addition to animals and their habitats. Climate change is bound to significantly affect not only the economy but also people’s lives and security if it is not dealt with.
The importance of sustaining marine biodiversity is not newfound. Recently, UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2023 examined the world’s ocean economy and pointed out that oceans need to be driven towards a sustainable future.
The United Nations has also urged developing nations to diversify their ocean economies by investing in the capacity to export ocean items and supporting manufacturing operations such as processed seafood. To increase export competitiveness, the UN also advised governments to unify ocean policy across sectors such as fisheries and transportation.
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