Climate change to push sockeye salmon prices up 70% over the long term: study

Sockeye salmon could become a luxury item within a few...

Sockeye salmon

Sockeye salmon could become a luxury item within a few decades as prices react to fish-stock shortages driven by climate change, according to a Vancity report released July 6.

The price of sockeye salmon is forecast to soar 70% or more – in 2015 dollars – by 2050 due to an expected 21% drop in stocks of that species.

Changes in ocean chemistry caused by carbon dioxide emissions have already hurt key marine ecosystems and organisms, including seafood, and retail prices for fish have jumped 38% over the past five years, according to data released by Statistics Canada.

“Without action, climate change will have massive and mostly irreversible impacts on ocean ecosystems and the fish they provide,” said study co-author Dr. Rashid Sumaila, director and professor of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Economics.

Sockeye salmon are not the only fish expected to be affected by climate change. Stocks of chum, halibut, sablefish and tuna are expected to drop 10-15%.

Sumaila will be presenting the findings and some recommendations at Science World July 8.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV