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

Climate change is a significant concern for fishers and the communities that depend on fisheries for their livelihoods, as Australia’s oceans generate considerable economic wealth through fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, oil and natural gas, and transport. Marine ecosystems also provide irreplaceable services including oxygen production, nutrient recycling and climate regulation.

As climate change poses both challenges and opportunities for Australia’s wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors, the FRDC’s strategic imperatives are focused on enhancing adaptive capacity, to foster mitigation actions such as wetland repair, and to position our industries to take advantage of the impacts of climate change.

At a national level, the FRDC helps co-ordinate fisheries climate change R&D with government agencies, industry and stakeholders. This work builds on the vast bank of research undertaken over the past decade looking at climate variability and its impact on the fishing industry.

You can read FRDC's Senate Inquiry submission about climate change here.

FRDC’s research into climate change

From 2010 to 2014, the FRDC coordinated the Climate Adaptation Program which included a series of research and development partnerships and a total RD&E investment of over $9 million. The program spanned a range of species groups, ecosystems and regions in Australia.

Informed by our past investment and outcomes, and the various needs of our stakeholders, FRDC’s current investment into climate change research seeks to maintain and develop collaborative partnerships and leverage existing knowledge. Such investments will align with the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-25.

It is 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.