Evaluating options for adapting to changing distributions of four key fisheries in South Eastern Australia

Emily Ogier (1), Stewart Frusher (1), Alistair Hobday (2), Sarah Jennings (3), Andrew Sullivan (4), Gretta Pecl (1)

1 Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7000, Emily.Ogier@utas.edu.au

2 CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere, Hobart, Australia, 7000

3 Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7005

4 Fish Focus Consulting, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7000

Planned adaptation to climate-driven changes in the distributions of target species must, by necessity, interact with existing fisheries management, as well as with industry stewardship. Optimal adaptation options are those which mitigate negative impacts and seize opportunities that arise from species on the move. Four key fisheries (Southern Rock Lobster, Abalone, Snapper and Blue Grenadier) in south -eastern Australia were selected as case studies on the basis of the high risk posed to these fisheries by climate change, including changes in the distribution of target species. We developed a step -wise approach to evaluating adaption options for the selected fisheries which enabled stakeholders to conduct a “first pass” assessment of options, entailing characterisation and then scoring of options against a range of criteria. Candidate options could then be further evaluated using existing risk-and-simulation techniques, and against management objectives. After ascertaining actual and expected key climate imp acts via a separate study, potential adaptation options for each fishery were firstly described then prioritised using a characterisation matrix which included: the specific climate challenges addressed (i.e. changing distributions), the implications of each option on the fishery system as a whole (i.e. the interaction of adaptation options with other management strategies), as well as temporal and spatial scales of implementation processes and benefits. Semi-quantitative evaluation of the final list of options was undertaken by stakeholders scoring the anticipated performance or outcome of an option against a pre – determined set of criteria and related indicators relating to perceived feasibility, risk and benefit.

Species on the Move

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The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.


Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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