El Nemo National Fishing and Aquaculture Climate Change RD&E Coordination Program - Aquatic Biodiversity and Resources

Project Number:



Colin Creighton

Principal Investigator:

Colin Creighton AM

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:





The 4 key needs are: 1 - the need to ensure multiple investors - FRDC, DCC and States plus possibly DAFF all achieve the outputs and outcomes they seek from pooled investment while where possible also value adding on their core investment such as through inkind research contributions or other partnership opportunities. Importantly to ensure that the investment activity is collaborative in nature and focuses on the needs of end-users of the research outputs. 2 - the need to translate Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, somewhat long term and challenging policy concepts into meaningful and useful research outputs that Australia's fishing industry can adopt as part of their industry development and management planning [industry here is taken in its broadest sense to include commercial, recreational, indigenous and conservation outcomes] 3 - the need to select and then project manage to successful completion a key and agenda setting combination of research, communication and knowledge exchange activities 4 - the need to conceptually develop an integrated package of activities that while meaningful and useful as outputs in themselves also combine and synergise to produce higher level Program outcomes far greater in benefit to Australia's fishing industry than the component parts


1. Program - to ensure the combined investment delivers outcomes for climate adaptation responses far greater than the individual projects

2. Investment - to facilitate wise and if possible additional investment additional to the initial investors of FRDC, DCC and DPI Vic with an outcome of increased scope and coverage in the research program.

3. Technical - to foster astute investment, selecting the projects of greatest potential benefit for Program outcomes while simultaneously ensuring a cohort of leading science practioners as motivated advocates.

4. Program Oversight - to provide a formal vehicle for Investor participation and direction in Program design, delivery and findings.

5. Communication - to foster planned and strategic communication activities about the program and its findings.

6. Adoption - to foster and share knowledge on the climate change imperatives.

7. Coordination - to ensure accountability and competent logistical support in the conduct of all program activities.

Final Report - 2009-074-DLD - Marine Australia: Directions for Management & Further Research - building on the findings of the Climate Change Adaptation – Marine Biodiversity & Fisheries R&D initiative

Final Report
Date Published:September 2014
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:
  1. Knowledge to equip marine users & managers to adapt
  2. Reinforcing the need to rethink marine biodiversity and fisheries management paradigms
  3. Equipping inshore fisheries for increased productivity & resilience to more extreme shock events
  4. Ensuring multi‐objective marine resilience
  5. Fostering climate‐informed action through shared knowledge
  6. 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.