Principal Investigator: Colin Creighton
Keywords: climate change; adaptations; marine biodiversity
Australia’s oceans generate considerable economic wealth through fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, oil and natural gas, and transport. Marine ecosystems provide irreplaceable services including defence, oxygen production, nutrient recycling and climate regulation.
Australia’s oceans, their physical characteristics, marine biodiversity and fisheries are already experiencing and responding to a changing and more variable climate. This flow-on in climate, ecological and economic change is occurring at a far more rapid rate than that occurring terrestrially. Adapting to our changing climate is essential if Australia is to maintain, build upon and profit from the wealth of goods and services provided by our marine environment.
Chapter 2 summarises the findings of a series of research and development partnerships and a total RD&E investment of over $9M from 2010 to 2014. This was led by FRDC with the partnership going across Australian and State Governments, CSIRO and universities as the
lead co-investors. A more detailed executive summary of each of the 25 projects is provided in Appendix 1. Chapter 2 also identifies some of the key activities underway towards adoption of the findings of the Program.
Chapter 3 provides a climate adaptation checklist. Much of the climate change adaptation science still required to further our knowledge is best undertaken within a total marine systems context. Evaluating science proposals using this checklist will ensure a greater incorporation of climate-related issues within marine biodiversity and fisheries investments.
Chapter 4 details the high priority areas for additional investment so that Australia can increasingly profit from its marine environment and incorporate climate adaptation within management and policy. These areas are:
- Knowledge to equip marine users & managers to adapt
- Reinforcing the need to rethink marine biodiversity and fisheries management paradigms
- Equipping inshore fisheries for increased productivity & resilience to more extreme shock events
- Ensuring multi‐objective marine resilience
- Fostering climate‐informed action through shared knowledge
- Contributing to smarter energy use
These priorities for action are best undertaken by incorporating climate and climate-related issues within the bigger and more appropriate context of fostering sustainable inshore and marine systems-based management. Australia as a marine nation has much to do to achieve
smarter marine management, to ensure sustainable marine uses and to apply eco-engineering to repair to higher levels of productivity and resilience our inshore systems. Adapting to a changing climate is part of this broader all-encompassing goal of a more productive and
profitable marine Australia.