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Climate change and Australian marine and freshwater environments, fishes and fisheries: Synthesis and options for adaptation

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 09:12 authored by Koehn, JD, Hobday, AJ, Pratchett, MS, Gillanders, BM
Anthropogenic climate change is already apparent and will have significant, ongoing impacts on Australian fishes and their habitats. Even with immediate actions to reduce greenhouse gases, there will be sustained environmental changes. Therefore, it is necessary to consider appropriate adaptations to minimise detrimental impacts for both fishes and the human populations that utilise them. Climate change will have a range of direct effects on the physiology, fitness, and survivorship of Australia's marine, estuarine and freshwater fishes, but also indirect effects via habitat degradation and changes to ecosystems. Effects will differ across populations, species and ecosystems, with some impacts being complex and causing unexpected outcomes. The range of adaptation options and necessary levels of intervention to maintain populations and ecosystem function will largely depend on the vulnerability of species and habitats. Climate change will also have an impact on people who depend on fishes for food or livelihoods; adapting to a new climate regime will mean trade-offs between biological assets and socioeconomic drivers. Models can be used to help predict trends and set priorities; however, they must be based on the best available science and data, and include fisheries, environmental, socioeconomic and political layers to support management actions for adaptation.


Publication title

Marine and Freshwater Research










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication

150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 CSIRO

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other environmental management not elsewhere classified

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