Climate change and fisheries

Climate change effects on fisheries

There is considerable uncertainty over how climate change will impact marine ecosystems. The extent to which fish stocks are likely to be affected by climate change is difficult to determine based on current information, and it will take some time for trends to emerge. Inherent variability in ocean currents, winds, nutrient availability, natural variability of fish populations and uncertainty over future CO2 emission levels will complicate assessments of the impacts of climate change. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding the extent of ecosystem effects, the timeframes at which these processes operate and the impact of non-climate change related influences on fish populations.

National Climate Change and Fisheries Action Plan

DAFF, through the Marine and Coastal Committee of the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, has taken the lead in developing the National Climate Change and Fisheries Action Plan (action plan).

The action plan is being developed in close consultation with stakeholders and other jurisdictions. The project is guided by a steering committee comprising representatives from DAFF’s Fisheries Branch and Climate Change Policy Branch, Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, South Australia and Victorian fisheries departments and the commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture sectors. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation are observers to the steering committee.

The Action Plan was released in March 2011.