Quantifying climate-smart management responses to shifting marine species distributions

Éva Plagányi (1), Ingrid van Putten (2), Laura Blamey (3), Doug S. Butterworth (4), William Robinson (5), Vivitskaia Tulloch (1,6) and Alistair J. Hobday (7)

1 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, Queensland BioSciences Precinct (QBP), St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Eva.Plaganyi-lloyd@csiro.au

2 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7004,  Ingrid.vanPutten@csiro.au

3 University of Cape Town, Marine Research (Ma-Re) Institute, South Africa,  Laura.Blamey@uct.ac.za

4 University of Cape Town, Marine Resource Assessment and Management (MARAM),  South Africa,  Doug.Butterworth@uct.ac.za

5 University of Cape Town, Marine Resource Assessment and Management (MARAM), South Africa, William.Robinson@Rondebosch.com

6 University of Queensland, Australia  v.tulloch@uq.edu.au, @vivtulloch

7 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7004,  Alistair.Hobday@csiro.au

Preparing  for  climate  change  and  responding  appropriately  to  shifts  in  species  distribution  entails developing management strategies capable of sustaining fisheries, fishers and dependent predators into the future. We analyse three different marine systems in Australia and South Africa to evaluate how well status quo management strategies perform compared with climate-smart management responses. We use Models  of  Intermediate  Complexity  for  Ecosystem  assessments  (MICE)  and  Management  Strategy Evaluation (MSE).  Our first example of the impacts of a shifting lobster stock on the dynamics of a southern Benguela inshore ecosystem highlights the potential of improved fisheries management strategies to increase the resilience of a system. Our second example describes controversial analyses and management strategies focused on declining African penguin populations, in turn dependent on anchovy and southward- shifting sardine populations. Our analyses attribute regional declines in penguin populations primarily to the shifting spatial distribution of sardines, rather than fishing pressure. Currently the subject of debate, these analyses have important implications for management of a major economically-important fishery, as well as spatial management alternatives to protect penguin populations. Our final example focuses on the broader social-ecological impacts of shifting species, using as an example the Tasmanian east coast hotspot region. We describe a new method to model the two-way feedbacks between changing biological systems and  the  linked  socio-economic  systems  of  resource  users  and  local  communities.  We  synthesize  our findings to recommend climate-smart management strategies that will sustain or enhance socio-ecological performance in the face of the growing challenges created by species on the move.

Species on the Move

If you would like more information about the outcomes of Species on the Move 2016 or plans for the next Species on the Move Conference please contact Associate Gretta Pecl.

The next conference is likely to be in 2019 at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

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