Projected impacts of future climate change, ocean acidification, and management on the US Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ocean acidification has the potential to significantly impact both aquaculture and wild-caught mollusk fisheries around the world. In this work, we build upon a previously published integrated assessment model of the US Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery to determine the possible future of the fishery under a suite of climate, economic, biological, and management scenarios. We developed a 4x4x4x4 hypercube scenario framework that resulted in 256 possible combinations of future scenarios. The study highlights the potential impacts of ocean acidification and management for a subset of future climate scenarios, with a high CO2 emissions case (RCP8.5) and lower CO2 emissions and climate mitigation case (RCP4.5). Under RCP4.5 and the highest impact and management scenario, ocean acidification has the potential to reduce sea scallop biomass by approximately 13% by the end of century; however, the lesser impact scenarios cause very little change. Under RCP8.5, sea scallop biomass may decline by more than 50% by the end of century, leading to subsequent declines in industry landings and revenue. Management-set catch limits improve the outcomes of the fishery under both climate scenarios, and the addition of a 10% area closure increases future biomass by more than 25% under the highest ocean acidification impacts. However, increased management still does not stop the projected long-term decline of the fishery under ocean acidification scenarios. Given our incomplete understanding of acidification impacts on P. magellanicus, these declines, along with the high value of the industry, suggest population-level effects of acidification should be a clear research priority. Projections described in this manuscript illustrate both the potential impacts of ocean acidification under a business-as-usual and a moderately strong climate-policy scenario. We also illustrate the importance of fisheries management targets in improving the long-term outcome of the P. magellanicus fishery under potential global change.

publication date

  • 2018