Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge that humanity has confronted. The changes to our landscapes and ecological systems that have occurred as a result of natural cyclic climatic changes over time have been significant. However, scientists tell us that human influences on the global climate system since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century are causing changes that have not been seen for hundreds of thousands of years, at a pace that is likely to exceed anything experienced for many millions of years.
Seeking to further develop industry climate change preparedness, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority funded the preparation of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the aquarium supply sector. The report forms the first stage of a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which will be developed through 2011.
The Assessment includes an enhanced methodology for assessing ecological risk posed by aquarium supply fisheries to include indirect fishery effects on habitats and ecosystem processes and services. The method is designed to not only assess current risks but also risks in the context of the predicted effects of climate change.
The report also includes an examination of the scale and dynamics of the fisheries and industry, the existing management framework, industry best-practice initiatives and the integrated and coordinated climate change response plans. The assessment is partly designed to alert industry to the wider implications of climate change beyond biophysical impacts and will result in a range of outputs as part of a climate change adaptation planning process.
The whole process is designed to establish a template for adaptation by other commercial fishing sectors and builds on the Stewardship Action Plan that was released in 2009. The pathway to establishing uniform operational best-practice standards and climate change adaptation planning is becoming established for other sectors to replicate.
Learn more about climate change at: www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/ or www.ipcc.ch/
Learn more about climate change on the Great Barrier Reef at: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_site/info_services/publications/misc_pub/climate_change_vulnerability_assessment/climate_change_vulnerability_assessment
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment