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El Niño and how it could affect the marine industry

Posted on June 12, 2023

El Niño and how it could affect the marine industry

El Niño can have a significant impact on the marine industry, particularly on fisheries, shipping, and offshore oil and gas operations.

Fisheries: During an El Niño event, changes in ocean temperatures and currents can affect the distribution and abundance of fish populations. For example, in some areas, warmer waters can cause certain fish species to migrate to different areas or become less abundant, while other species may become more abundant. This can have implications for commercial fishing operations, affecting both the availability of fish and the profitability of fishing fleets.

Shipping: El Niño can also affect shipping operations, particularly in areas where changes in ocean currents can lead to increased wave heights and more challenging sea conditions. This can result in disruptions to shipping schedules and potential safety hazards for ships and crews.

Offshore oil and gas operations: El Niño can also affect offshore oil and gas operations by causing stronger storms and more challenging sea conditions. This can result in delays and disruptions to drilling and production activities, as well as potential safety hazards for offshore workers.

In addition, El Niño can also affect ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs, marine mammals, and other marine life. This can have implications for marine tourism, recreation, and conservation efforts.

Overall, the impacts of El Niño on the marine industry can vary depending on the strength and duration of the event, as well as the specific location and type of marine activity involved. As such, it is important for the marine industry to monitor El Niño conditions and take appropriate measures to prepare for and respond to potential impacts.

See NOAA Climate.gov El Nino Watch here

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