Fisheries In Crisis Bringing Hardship to Coastal Towns In the Developing World

The Washington Post’s excellent series entitled “2 Degrees: Beyond the Limit” by  and 
with amazing photos by has highlighted the many ways that the climate crisis is already causing great hardship around the globe.  The most recent installment tells the story of Tombwa, Angola — a small fishing village of 50,000 people that has been decimated in the last twenty years by a “perfect storm” of powerful forces caused directly or indirectly by climate change: the fish are suffocating in oxygen-depleted waters, huge foreign trawlers are illegally overfishing what remains, and the water temperature is 2 degrees warmer than it was in 1982.

Why This Matters:  Places like Tombwa that are hardest hit by climate are also the ones with the least capacity to adapt.  This is ground zero for the job losses, food shortages and political instability that the World Meteorological Organization highlighted yesterday, and this same downward fisheries spiral is playing out up and down the Angolan coast.

To Go Deeper:  The same phenomenon of fisheries being negatively impacted by climate change is taking place in Iceland and Northern Europe in a great story in The New York Times by Kendra Pierre-Lewis.  And consider this nugget from that article: “A study led by Sara Mitchell, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa, found that, since World War II, a quarter of militarized disputes between democracies have been over fisheries.

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