Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Changing storminess and global capture fisheries

Climate change-driven alterations in storminess pose a significant threat to global capture fisheries. Understanding how storms interact with fishery social-ecological systems can inform adaptive action and help to reduce the vulnerability of those dependent on fisheries for life and livelihood.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Ecological, social and economic impacts of storms on fisheries.
Fig. 2: The spatially heterogeneous nature of changing global storminess.
Fig. 3: Schematic of a research roadmap to understand the impact of changing storminess on fisheries.


  1. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (FAO, 2016).

  2. Golden, C. D. et al. Nature 534, 317–320 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Coulthard, S., Johnson, D. & McGregor, J. A. Glob. Environ. Change 21, 453–463 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Cheung, W. W. L. et al. Glob. Change Biol. 16, 24–35 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hartmann, D. L. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (eds Stocker, T. F. et al.) Ch. 2 (IPCC, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).

  6. Bindoff, N. L. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (eds Stocker, T. F. et al.) Ch. 10 (IPCC, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).

  7. Trenberth, K. E., Fasullo, J. T. & Shepherd, T. G. Nat. Clim. Change 5, 725–730 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Murakami, H., Vecchi, G. A. & Underwood, S. Nat. Clim. Change 7, 885–889 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Mölter, T., Schindler, D., Albrecht, A. T. & Kohnle, U. Atmosphere 7, 60 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kossin, J. P., Emanuel, K. A. & Camargo, S. J. J. Clim. 29, 5725–5739 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Scoccimarro, E. et al. J. Clim. 30, 145–162 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. van Putten, I. E. et al. Fish Fish 13, 216–235 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ochumba, P. B. Hydrobiologia 208, 93–99 (1990).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Allison, E. H. et al. Fish Fish 10, 173–196 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Surminski, S., Bouwer, L. M. & Linnerooth-Bayer, J. Nat. Clim. Change 6, 333–334 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


N.C.S. acknowledges the financial support of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC; GW4+ studentship NE/L002434/1), Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and Willis Research Network. We thank E. M. Wood, who provided design services for the figures.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nigel C. Sainsbury.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

J.K.P. is a co-chair of the ‘ICES-PICES Strategic Initiative on Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems’ and will be a Lead Author for the ‘Small Islands’ chapter in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (WG III).

Additional information

Additional information

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sainsbury, N.C., Genner, M.J., Saville, G.R. et al. Changing storminess and global capture fisheries. Nature Clim Change 8, 655–659 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing