There are three primary types of research that are needed to deal with climate change. The first is to study appropriate management systems that will allow regional and global fisheries to reach sustainability as the climate changes. The second is to study ecological systems in the ocean to learn how the many parts interact among themselves and in conjunction with human fishing pressure. The third is to monitor what is happening in regional and global fisheries so that appropriate actions can be taken, and at the correct time.
Study management systems
If fisheries are to be sustainable, there must be effective stewardship regimes throughout the world. Such regimes are slow to develop and are jeopardized by unexpected changes to the abundance and distribution of the species they manage. Many types of systems are in place or have been hypothesized. Thorough research on the best mechanisms, particularly those that can deal with varying species abundance and distributions is needed.
Study ecological systems
In recent years, both nationally and inter-nationally, there has been growing interest in conducting research at the ecosystem level and then using that information to mage a higher scale than the species-by-species approach that is generally used today. This is the key to global sustainability of marine fisheries. It is essential whether or not global warming is underway. The basic knowledge of the relationships among predators, preys, environment, reproduction and economics are inadequately known. While a progress is occurring at an increasing rate, partly because of international frameworks now in place, it is far below that needed, or that is possible. The progress made in recent years gives confidence that this is a tractable problem.
Monitor what is happening
Through national efforts and newly developing international efforts (such as GLOBEC and GOOS), monitor changes in ecosystems to stay abreast of developments that may be due to climate change or other elements. In conjunction with this monitoring, develop a set of triggers or anticipated responses that would indicate change is taking place, and, in advance, determine what should be done about it. Only in this way will institutions be prepared to deal with changes and their ramifications.