Canada–U.S. Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Maine: Taking Stock and Charting Future Coordinates in the Face of Climate Change

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Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, Ecosystem Change


Climate change and ocean acidification are the biggest non-fisheries threats to marine organisms across the global oceans. But where fish stocks are shared be- tween different countries, these oceanographic changes can have consequenc- es for governance regimes and extractive marine activities through changes in stock distribution, and the affording of fishing and access rights. The Gulf of Maine is considered a single ecosystem that is rapidly warming and undergoing ecosystem change. It is also bisected by an international maritime boundary, known as the Hague Line, separating the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Canada and the United States. Several fish species, such as cod, haddock, flounders, halibut, American eel, sandlance, cusk, pollock, herring, mackerel, and dogfish straddle the Line and although scientists suspect species’ distributional shifts in relation to the Line due to natural fluctuations and anthropogenic disturbances such as climate change, the full impact and extent of these shifts are not completely known and in some ways are unpredictable.