The environmental conditions that marine populations experience are being altered because of climate change. In particular, changes in temperature and increased variability can cause shifts in spatial distribution, leading to changes in local physiological rates and recruitment success. Yet, management of fish stocks rarely accounts for variable spatial dynamics or changes in movement rates when estimating management quantities such as stock abundance or maximum sustainable yield. To address this concern, a management strategy evaluation (MSE) was developed to evaluate the robustness of the international management system for Pacific hake, an economically important migratory stock, by incorporating spatio-temporal population dynamics. Alternative hypotheses about climate-induced changes in age-specific movement rates, in combination with three different harvest control rules (HCR), were evaluated using a set of simulations that coupled single-area estimation models with alternative operating models representing spatial stock complexity. Movement rates intensified by climate change caused a median decline in catches, increased annual catch variability, and lower average spawning biomass. Impacts varied by area and HCR, underscoring the importance of spatial management. Incorporating spatial dynamics and climate change effects into management procedures for fish stocks with spatial complexity is warranted to mitigate risk and uncertainty for exploited marine populations.
- Climate change
- Management strategy evaluation
- Pacific hake