Climate change

Australia’s oceans generate considerable economic wealth through fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, oil and natural gas, and transport. Marine ecosystems provide irreplaceable services including oxygen production, nutrient recycling and climate regulation.

Climate change is already impacting on estuarine and marine fisheries and biodiversity with extreme climate variability events well documented.

Adaptation and flexibility are key – Australia’s policy and management frameworks are well placed to respond because they are already adaptive and flexible.

Climate change poses both challenges and opportunities for Australia’s wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The FRDC’s strategic imperatives are to enhance each sector’s adaptive capacity, to foster mitigation actions such as wetland repair and position our industries and management arrangements to take advantage of the impacts of climate change. 

The FRDC has a role at the national level to help co-ordinate fisheries climate change RD&E with Australian, State and Territory Government agencies, industry, and stakeholders. This builds on the vast bank of research undertaken over the past decade looking at climate variability and its impact on the fishing industry.

Read FRDC's Senate Inquiry submission about Climate Change here.

 

FRDC’s Research into Climate Change

The FRDC has a role at the national level to help co-ordinate and fund fisheries climate change research, development and extension with Australian, State and Territory Government agencies, industry, and stakeholders.This builds on the large amount of research undertaken over the past decade looking at climate variability and its impact on the fishing industry, with a focus on identifying mitigation options that might be adopted by managers and industry.

Previously, the FRDC coordinated the Climate Adaptation Program that included a series of research and development partnerships and a total RD&E investment of over $9M from 2010 to 2014. 

This was led by FRDC with partnerships going across Australian and State Governments, CSIRO and universities as the lead co-investors. These funded RD&E activities span a range of species groups, ecosystems and regions in Australia.

Currently, FRDC’s investment into climate change research is informed by the various needs of our stakeholders through the FRDC’s partner mechanisms – jurisdictional and industry sector bodies.

RD&E invested through these initiatives seeks to develop collaborative partnerships and leverage existing knowledge in this area.

It is also important to acknowledge that there are a wide range of investors into climate change RD&E, including Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, CSIRO, the Australian Research Council, universities and the private sector.

A list of projects considering the impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture can be found below.

 

Find out more about climate change

The Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card for Australia provides a guide for industry, scientists, government and the community on the observed and projected impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. The report card was developed by leading marine scientists from across Australia. 

Project Number
Title
Status
2019-036
Implementation of dynamic reference points and harvest strategies to account for environmentally-driven changes in productivity in Australian fisheries
Current
2019-032
Seaweed production as a nutrient offset for Moreton Bay
Current
2019-016
Estimating the biomass of fish stocks using novel and efficient genetic techniques
Current
2019-015
Understanding the relationship between commercial prawn species population dynamics, fishing patterns and climate in the Shark Bay World Heritage area in Western Australia
Current
2019-014
Can DNA from routine plankton surveys be used to measure fish spawning areas and monitor changes in pelagic ecosystems?
Current
2019-013
Modelling environmental changes and effects on wild-caught species in Queensland
Current
2019-010
Revisiting biological parameters and information used in the assessment of Commonwealth fisheries: a reality check and work plan for future proofing
Current
2018-212
Establishing an industry recovery strategy for the Area 3 zone of the Western Australian Abalone Managed Fishery
Current
2018-194
Forecasting spatial distribution of Southern Bluefin Tuna habitat in the Great Australian Bight – updating and improving habitat and forecast models
Current
2018-191
Travel bursary: Symposium on Responsible Fishing Technology for Healthy Ecosystems and Clean Environment
Completed