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Assessing the risk of climate change to aquaculture: a case study from south-east Australia

Published by:
Online Location
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Fisheries & Aquaculture
Doubleday, Z.A., Clarke, S.M., Li, X., Pecl, G.T., Ward, T.M., Battaglene, S., Frusher, S., Gibbs, P.J., Hobday, A.J., Hutchinson, N. and Jennings, S.M.,
Inter-Research Aquaculture Environment Interactions

A qualitative screening-level risk assessment was developed to evaluate relative levels of risk from climate change to aquaculture industries. The assessment was applied to 7 major industries in the temperate south-east region of Australia and involved a simple, transparent and repeatable methodology that was appropriate for a range of different aquaculture systems and taxa. Two key stages were involved: the development of comprehensive expertise-based literature reviews or ‘species profiles’ and a scoring assessment, with the latter providing a defined framework within which industries could be ranked (from high to low risk). In addition to informing the second stage of the risk assessment process, the species’ profiles also highlighted important climate change drivers and key information uncertainties and knowledge gaps. There was good resolution among the scoring assessments, with only 2 industries receiving the same risk score. The results indicated that oysters farmed from wild spat (Sydney rock oysters Saccostrea glomerata) were at most risk to climate change, with warm temperate hatchery-based finfish species (yellowtail kingfishSeriola lalandi) being the least at risk. This study provides critical guidance for scientists, resource managers and stakeholders for future research, both in addressing key knowledge gaps and focussing the development of more detailed risk analyses for high risk aquaculture industries in south-east Australia.