University Of Tasmania
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Climate ready: identifying adaptation preparedness in Australia's state fisheriess

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posted on 2023-05-28, 11:46 authored by Hannah FogartyHannah Fogarty
Marine resource industries and associated ecosystems are under threat from climate change. Fisheries are a key industry that is facing challenges posed by climate change and needs to explore adaptation options to increase resilience to increasing variability in environmental conditions and stock productivity. Climate change leads to various biological and socio-ecological implications, ranging from species redistributions as species seek to chase preferred temperatures, to disease outbreaks affecting both species and human health, to changes in stock abundance and productivity affecting fishing operations. The effects and impacts of climate change, however, are not equal around the world, with greater impacts typically occurring in faster warming regions. Australia has some of the fastest warming waters in the world (e.g. the south-east and south-west coastlines), leading to rapidly changing marine ecosystems. This thesis explores how prepared Australian fisheries are for climate change, and what they can do to better prepare. Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, this thesis undertakes the first approach to analyse: (i) the amount of primary scientific literature that is available to inform climate adaptations in Australian fisheries and what factors may influence research effort and direction; (ii) the extent to which Australian state fisheries management documents consider issues relating to climate change; (iii) the frequency at which climate change is considered a research funding priority within fisheries research in Australia; and (iv) the current and future potential for climate adaptation to be integrated as part of commercial wild-catch fisheries management strategies in Tasmania, making recommendations on how to improve climate change adaptation of Tasmanian fisheries. This thesis also explores the broader context of climate change affecting marine environments, summarising the importance of maintaining pressure on government to consider climate change in all strategies, through key recommendations made by an Australian Senate Committee inquiry. Finally, this thesis presents key lessons and recommendations that can be learned from autonomous adaptations to climate change being undertaken by Tasmanian marine resource users without government action. This thesis is presented through research chapters (i.e. peer reviewed publications), as well as government and industry relevant outputs (i.e. technical reports) in order to maximise the impact of this work on fisheries and marine management by broadening the application and relevant audience of this research. Key findings of this research include that two-thirds of harvested Australian marine species assessed have no peer-reviewed climate-related literature available to inform fisheries management and climate adaptation, and that research effort in climate-related species literature is closely related to the number of commercial fish stocks per species and the commercial catch weights of a species. The south-east and western Australian regions have the most climate-related biological information to support climate adaptation in fisheries management, and the south-east and south-west regions have the highest incorporation rates of climate- and environmental protection-related themes in their commercial state fisheries management documents. Less than one-quarter of all fisheries management documents assessed have content relating to climate, and this is only included to a limited degree, but is more likely to be present in documents relating to target species with higher economic commercial catch values, commercial catch weights, or a greater number of commercial fish stocks. Climate-related fisheries research represents only a small proportion of fisheries research and investment. Moreover, climate adaptation in Tasmanian fisheries management has largely been passive or incidental to date. Suggested future improvements may incorporate (i) more and/or different scientific information and better application, (ii) government reviews, reforms, and stronger action, (iii) renewed industry leadership and action, (iv) gaining more funding and resources, and (v) increasing education, extension, and interaction among stakeholder groups. This thesis recommends that the inclusion of climate-related biological knowledge in fisheries management should be increased to boost the production of climate-informed management adaptation strategies. In order to achieve this, research funding for climate-related fisheries research should be increased to expand the production of this research. Finally, fisheries management and industry changes to proactively address climate change should be implemented, and autonomous adaptations among marine resource users that to not conflict management objectives should be encouraged. However, these autonomous or industry-led adaptations also need to be documented to ensure adaptation across government and industry sectors occurs in a coordinated way. Holding a long-term strategic view towards addressing climate change challenges is important for the longevity of the fishing industry and marine ecosystems of Australia.


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Copyright 2021 the author Chapter 3 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Fogarty, H. E., Cvitanovic, C., Hobday A. J., Pecl, G. T., 2019. Prepared for change? An assessment of the current state of knowledge to support climate adaptation for Australian fisheries, Reviews in fish biology and fisheries, 29, 877-894. Post-prints are subject to Springer Nature re-use terms. Chapter 4 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Fogarty, H. E., Cvitanovic, C., Hobday A. J., Pecl, G. T., 2020. An assessment of how Australian fisheries management plans account for climate change impacts, Frontiers in marine science, 7, 1-19. Copyright Copyright 2020 Fogarty, Cvitanovic, Hobday and Pecl. The article is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Chapter 5 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Fogarty, H. E., Cvitanovic, C., Hobday, A. J., Pecl, G. T., 2020. Stakeholder perceptions on actions for marine fisheries adaptation to climate change, Marine and freshwater research, 72(10), 1430‚Äö-1444. Copyright Copyright 2020 CSIRO. The article is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, ) Chapter 6 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Fogarty, H. E., Pecl, G. T., 2021. Lessons and recommendations for the climate adaptation of key Tasmanian fisheries. In: Bahri, T., Vasconcellos, M., Welch, D. J., Johnson, J., Perry, R. I., Ma, X., Sharma, R. (eds), Adaptive management of fisheries in response to climate change, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 245-258. Copyright FAO, 2021, Last updated 7/4/21. This work is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO; Appendix A includes a published article. Material from: Pecl, G. T., Ogier, E., Jennings, S., van Putten, I., Crawford, C., Fogarty, H., Frusher, S., Hobday, A. J., Keane, J., Lee, E., MacLeod, C., Mundy, C., Stuart-Smith J., Tracey, S., Autonomous adaptation to climate-driven change in marine biodiversity in a global marine hotspot, Ambio 48, 1498‚Äö-1515, published 2019. Copyright Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2019. Appendix A includes another published article: Twiname, S., Audzijonyte, A., Blanchard, J. L., Champion, C., de la Chesnais, T., Fitzgibbon, Q. P., Fogarty, H. E., Hobday, A. J., Kelly, R., Murphy, K. J., Oellermann, M., Peinado, P., Tracey, S., Villanueva, C., Wolfe, B., Pecl, G. T., 2020. A cross-scale framework to support a mechanistic understanding and modelling of marine climate-driven species redistribution, from individuals to communities, Ecography, 43(12), 1764-1778. Copyright 2020 The authors. Ecography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License, (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Appendix A includes another published article. Material from: Melbourne-Thomas, J., Audzijonyte, A., Brasier, M. J., Cresswell, K. A., Fogarty, H. E., Haward, M., Hobday, A. J., Hunt, H. L., Ling, S. D., McCormack, P. C., Mustonen, T., Mustonen, K., Nye, J. A., Oellermann, M., Trebilco, R., van Putten, I., Villanueva, C., Watson R. A., Pecl, G. T., Poleward bound: adapting to climate-driven species redistribution, Reviews in fish biology and fisheries, 32, 231‚Äö-251 published 2022. Crown copyright. Appendix A also includes what appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Trebilco, R., Fleming, A., Hobday, A. J., Melbourne-Thomas, J., Meyer, A., McDonald, J., McCormack, P. C., Anderson, K., Bax, N., Corney, S. P., Dutra, L. X. C., Fogarty, H. E., McGee, J., Mustonen, K., Mustonen, T., Norris, K. A., Ogier, E., Constable, A. J. Pecl, G. T., 2022. Warming world, changing ocean: mitigation and adaptation to support resilient marine systems, Reviews in fish biology and fisheries, 32, 39‚Äö-63.

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