No, Climate Change Is Not Reducing Global Fish Catch

March 17, 2019 Updated: March 17, 2019

Commentary

The fake news media recently published a barrage of stories claiming climate change is harming the global fish catch. However, objective data show just the opposite. As the earth continues to warm modestly, fishermen around the world continue to set new fish catch records nearly every year.

The lead article showing up in a Google News search for “global warming” on March 1 was an article published by Inside Climate News titled, “Climate Change Is Cutting Into the Global Fish Catch, and It’s on Pace to Get Worse.” Similar stories were published the same day by USA Today, CNN.com, The Weather Channel, and others.

The problem is, an examination of global fish data shows there has been no reduction in the global fish catch. In reality, exactly the opposite is happening.

The World Bank hosts a webpage, “Total fisheries production,” that tracks the historical global fish catch. The World Bank data show a jaw-dropping increase in global production as the earth has warmed. Publishing data through 2015, the World Bank reports:

  • 2015 was a record year for global fish production.
  • The last year that did not set a new global fish production record was 2001.
  • From 2010 to 2015, global fish production increased by 19 percent.
  • Since 2000, global fish production has increased by 46 percent.
  • Since 1980, global fish production has more than doubled, up 165 percent.
  • Since 1960, global fish production has more than quadrupled, up 440 percent.

By any measurement, over any time frame, global fish production is rising rapidly as the earth warms. And the pace of increase in the global fish catch is accelerating, especially since 2010. Yet climate alarmists and their compliant media allies spread the myth that “Climate Change Is Cutting Into the Global Fish Catch, and It’s on Pace to Get Worse.”

Sadly, the media’s misrepresentation of the global fish catch is similar to the media’s misrepresentation of virtually every topic regarding global warming. The environmental left and their media allies would have us believe global warming is causing an increase in crop failures, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, and just about everything else that has to do with weather and climate.

The objective data show exactly the opposite. Global crop production sets new records virtually every year. There has been no increase in drought. There has been a modest long-term decline in global hurricane frequency. There has been no increase in tornado activity, with a substantial decline in the occurrence of the strongest tornadoes.

Ultimately, the question is which is more credible; speculative theories and models presented by global warming alarmists or objective real-world evidence presented by climate realists that directly contradict alarmist assertions?

The ridiculous claims of a declining and worsening global fish catch perfectly illustrate the glaring credibility gap in the global warming debate. The mainstream media’s articles on global fish production were based on a newly published paper that, according to the paper, “used temperature specific models and hindcasting” to report “an overall reduction in yield has occurred over the past 80 years.” Yet objective data falsify the models and hindcasting and show fishermen are catching quadruple as many fish as they did a half century ago.

Which do you believe, a hindcasting model claiming global warming has reduced fish yields or the objective data showing a tremendous increase in global fish production? The answer to that question illustrates the differences between alarmists and skeptics in the overall global warming debate.

James Taylor (JTaylor@heartland.org) is senior fellow for environment and climate policy at The Heartland Institute.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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