Climate change

Australia’s oceans generate considerable economic wealth through fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, oil and natural gas, and transport. Marine ecosystems provide irreplaceable services including oxygen production, nutrient recycling and climate regulation.

Climate change is already impacting on estuarine and marine fisheries and biodiversity with extreme climate variability events well documented.

Adaptation and flexibility are key – Australia’s policy and management frameworks are well placed to respond because they are already adaptive and flexible.

Climate change poses both challenges and opportunities for Australia’s wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The FRDC’s strategic imperatives are to enhance each sector’s adaptive capacity, to foster mitigation actions such as wetland repair and position our industries and management arrangements to take advantage of the impacts of climate change. 

The FRDC has a role at the national level to help co-ordinate fisheries climate change RD&E with Australian, State and Territory Government agencies, industry, and stakeholders. This builds on the vast bank of research undertaken over the past decade looking at climate variability and its impact on the fishing industry.

Read FRDC's Senate Inquiry submission about Climate Change here.

Visit the Current RD&E Plan for more information on FRDC's Strategic Plan.

Find out more about climate change

The FRDC invests in a range of research projects on behalf of the fishing industry. Information on projects concerning climate change is available on our research page and FISH magazine.

FRDC co-funded the Coastal Climate Blueprint website with the aim of increasing the awareness of climate change impacts in Australian coastal communities. The site provides information on climate, marine life and marine user sectors and allows communities to assess how prepared they are for future changes.

The Australian Government’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility is a body working across all industries to help generate reliable information needed by decision makers to manage climate change risks and inform adaptation. The network fosters interaction between researchers, managers and the community.

Climate Kelpie summarises climate drivers and Australia’s climate variability, provides links to key climate forecasting websites internationally, links to key climate risk management decision support tools and provides stories on how Australian primary industries are adapting to a changing climate.

A major climate change research provider is CSIRO, particularly through its Climate Science Centre. Read CSIRO's summary of how Climate Change is influencing the marine environment here.

The Department of the Environment and Energy manages Australian Government policies and programs to help primary industries and producers make choices and decisions to adapt and respond to climate change.


Project Number
Seaweed production as a nutrient offset for Moreton Bay
Estimating the biomass of fish stocks using novel and efficient genetic techniques
Understanding the relationship between commercial prawn species population dynamics, fishing patterns and climate in the Shark Bay World Heritage area in Western Australia
Modelling environmental changes and effects on wild-caught species in Queensland
Revisiting biological parameters and information used in the assessment of Commonwealth fisheries: a reality check and work plan for future proofing
Establishing an industry recovery strategy for the Area 3 zone of the Western Australian Abalone Managed Fishery
Forecasting spatial distribution of Southern Bluefin Tuna habitat in the Great Australian Bight – updating and improving habitat and forecast models
Travel bursary: Symposium on Responsible Fishing Technology for Healthy Ecosystems and Clean Environment
Blue carbon and the Australian seafood industry: workshop
Effects of climate change and habitat degradation on Coral Trout