Maldives world’s most vulnerable country to climate-change related impacts on food security

The Maldives is the world’s most vulnerable country to the food-security related impacts of climate change, a new report has found.

According to ‘Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World’, produced by global ocean protection NGO Oceana, the Maldives ranks alongside Togo and Comoros as the most vulnerable to climate-change related food security threats, due to its near total reliance on fish for protein.

The rankings were calculated by combining each nation’s exposure to climate change and ocean acidification, dependence on and consumption of fish and seafood, and level of adaptive capacity based on socioeconomic factors.

“Many of the high-ranking nations based on climate change indicators are located in the tropics and low latitudes,” the report notes.

“This reflects the general trend that fish species are predicted to be migrating toward the poles as water temperatures continue to rise. Tropical countries are the most dependent on coral reef fisheries which are severely threatened.

“Island and coastal nations depend more heavily on fish for protein, especially the poorest nations, increasing their vulnerability. Many of the poorest places are already struggling with hunger issues which will be made worse with high population growth rates and limited additional options for food.”

Half the protein consumed in the Maldives is derived from fish, the report observed, and besides providing direct food protein, countries such as the Maldives also benefited from marine tourism jobs associated with coral reefs and marine life.

“This multi-billion dollar industry could also be threatened by climate change. Therefore, further assessments should incorporate the risks to food security that come from losses in income due to the disappearance of fisheries and tourism related jobs. Local changes to marine resources from ocean acidification and climate change could ripple up through the global economy,” the report found.

‘So long and thanks for all the fish’

Minivan News has earlier reported on the decline of the fishing industry in the Maldives due to an array of factors, notably high-tech and efficient purse seiner vessels from other nations ringing the country’s exclusive economic zone. The traditional – and sustainable – pole and line method used by Maldivian fishermen has left them unable to compete with GPS enabled, sonar-equipped fish aggregation devices of these vessels.

Local fisheries have also been affected by market impacts, particularly the move by major fisheries companies in the Maldives to ship tuna to Thailand for canning and processing despite the presence of local factories – many tins sold locally in shops now have ‘packed in Thailand’ on the label.

Former head of the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), Adhil Saleem, previously informed Minivan News that changing sea surface temperatures due to climate change were also driving fish deeper, reducing the stocks within reach of the traditional pole and line method.

“Our [pole and line] method only works near the surface,” he said. “But with changes in weather and sea temperature, fish will not surface.”

According to figures from the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), tuna fishing is the second largest export earner at US$52 million and the country’s largest employer at 40 percent, but in the last three years contributed only 2 percent of the country’s GDP, dwarfed by the tourism industry. Catches meanwhile declined eight percent in 2011.


8 thoughts on “Maldives world’s most vulnerable country to climate-change related impacts on food security”

  1. Climate-change, like neurologism and evolutionism is nothing more than a pseudo-science wielded by zionist and secular fanatics with the intention of inducing the world into mass hysteria for the benefit of their diabolical power plays.

    If evolutionism were true Chimpanzees would be giving birth to Humans and Alligators would be giving birth to Giraffes.

    If Neurologism were true and our brain runs on electrial impulses beholden to physical laws rather than by an immaterial soul, too much thinking would cause our brains to overheat, catch fire and melt.

    If Climate-change were true, the snow on top of the Himalayas should have melted by now and submerged the entire subcontinent in snow.

    Deeper investigation into the so called "Global Warming" myth actually yields a picture completely at odds with what we're being told. For instance, did you know that snowfall has actually been on the increase?

    Any fool gullible enough to fall for the lunatic theories of the madmen that comprise the Western "Scientific" community should be garrotted on the spot immediately.

  2. When discussing the impact of climate change on the fishing industry, this article is missing the huge forest for a few trees.

    Instead of climate change in decades, it would be better to discuss what are the reasons for the continuous decline in the Fishing Industry and our fishery exports.

    On top of that, there are major, immediate, additional challenges as Maldives has graduated to a developing country, re free access to markets.

    Climate change is sexy. The guts of the fishery industry, I guess, is not.


  3. @wives and concubines,

    mee dhenn konn kame? you cant comment on even one article without mocking religion. if you dont like our country you can leave.


    and you are other side of same coin. you are completely mad. go away before you hurt yourself.

    i dont believe in evolution also but climate change is real and we must do something about it.

  4. How much closer to the brink will science take us before they say a crisis "WILL" happen, not just might happen? Science has never said it will happen and it's been 26 years. "Climate change is real and happening and COULD cause a crisis". Not good enough. When will they say; "WILL" happen?

  5. Interesting and very relevant report to the Maldives. Hope these reports are read by the technocrats and industry to formulate better strategies to improve the fisheries sector.

  6. What matters is our actions. Leave the argument, that whether global warming will occur or not. We are all responsible for our actions. Its simple logic that throwing waste and excessive use of fossil fuel is not a good habit. Even Almighty Allah have told to take precautions before the effects.


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