Project number: 2011-037
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $90,000.00
Principal Investigator: Colin Creighton AM
Organisation: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)
Project start/end date: 30 Apr 2011 - 29 Sep 2011


Climate change is manifesting in marine environments. Additional to climate variability there is documented shifts in ocean currents - temperature, behaviour and spatial impact. Biotic indications eg species changes in abundance and range suggest impacts are at a level greater than for terrestrial ecosystems and uses. Coupled with this is the common property nature of fisheries resources. Management imperatives are already upon Government and all key sectors - conservation, commercial and recreational fishery management and aquaculture.

The first two challenges are to -
a) smartly adapt to biotic changes and variations in abundance
b) foster a more flexible and responsive approach to marine management.

Climate change is a political issue - the public policy issue that has been most incompetently dealt with by Australia's political leaders. Community understanding of the complexities of climate change and how Australia should respond is varied with multiple areas for confusion and misunderstanding. Additionally, those promoting a mitigation response have been alarmist in their predictions - well beyond the science evidence.
With this confusion as to the implications of climate change and options for adaptation and mitigation strategies, informed debate is extremely difficult. The recreational fishing sector is no different to the wider community.

Given the economic and social importance of recreational fishing in Australia, there is a national need and strong regional demand for strategies and adaptation activities and management systems that respond wisely to climate change.

The second two challenges are to:
c) ensure accurate information on climate change information is available and is placed in context with other aspects such as habitat loss and water quality
d) foster knowledge and adaptation strategies from within the recreational fishing sector so that the sector can play its role in advocacy and public policy development.


1. Through case studies of vulnerable species in each of the three regions this project will explore and propose activities and strategies such as improved fisheries management measures which could be adopted to assist agencies, recreational fishers and the recreational fishing industry adapt and deal with climate change impacts
2. Explore climate change adaptation responses and move towards regional arrangements that foster a more flexible and responsive approach to recreational fisheries and fisher needs.
3. Identify high priority mitigation opportunities so that the recreational fishing sector can contribute to the global issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9752219-9-0
Author: Colin Creighton

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