A NSW Government website

What is the NSW DPIRD Climate Vulnerability Assessment? ⏷

Climate change is altering the growing conditions for many commodities across NSW. Primary producers need evidence-based information about the changing climate, and the risks and opportunities it may bring.

The NSW DPIRD Climate Vulnerability Assessments are enhancing the resilience of our primary industries by providing information and data to help the sector better plan for, and respond to, climate change. They have assessed climate change impacts for extensive livestock, broadacre and irrigated cropping, marine fisheries, forestry, horticulture and viticulture, and important biosecurity risks associated with these industries to inform sound planning, risk management and adaptation decisions.

Learn more about the Climate Vulnerability Assessment.

How we assessed climate suitability ⏷

Marine future climate projections were sourced from the World Climate Research Programme, with historical climate data supplied by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service. The climate models differ in their projections, giving rise to uncertainty which is reflected in the confidence statements given in brackets in the text. Care should be taken when interpreting these results.

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment is intended to highlight potential industry- or regional-level changes. Intermediate and high emissions scenarios were used in the assessments (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), but these are not the only future scenarios possible. The inclusion of climate variables important to the commodities production was based on published research, expert knowledge and data quality and availability.

Learn more in the Climate Vulnerability Assessment Project Framework.

Climate impacts: what to expect

Future climate change affects dolphinfish via rising ocean temperatures, resulting in differing seasonal impacts for fisheries in NSW coastal waters:

  • Summer – Historical climate suitability for dolphinfish during summer is very high in northern and central NSW coastal waters and high in southern waters. By 2050, northern NSW waters are likely to experience minimal negative change, while southern waters are likely to experience minimal positive change (moderate to high confidence).
  • Autumn –Historical climate suitability during autumn is high in northern and central waters, and these are expected to remain largely unchanged by 2050, and historical moderate climate suitability in southern waters are likely to experience minimal positive change, becoming high (moderate to high confidence).
  • Winter – Historical climate suitabilities during winter in northern and central coastal waters are expected to remain high to very high and moderate to high, respectively, by 2050, and moderate suitability in southern waters is likely to experience minimal positive change (moderate to high confidence).
  • Spring – Historically during spring, climate suitabilities along the NSW coast ranges from high to very high in northern waters, moderate in central waters and low in southern waters. All regions are expected to experience minimal positive change by 2050 (high confidence).

Dolphinfish vulnerabilities

  • While minimal decreases in climate suitability for dolphinfish are expected off northern NSW in summer (moderate confidence), climate suitability is expected to remain high to very high in this region. This may lead to minimal reductions in fishing opportunity for dolphinfish along the northern coastline of NSW during the summer months, specifically in the Tweed-Moreton and Manning Shelf bioregions.

Dolphinfish opportunities

  • Year-round minimal increases in climate suitability for dolphinfish are likely to occur in southern NSW waters by 2050. These changes are likely to be accompanied by minimal increases in climate suitability along the central and northern NSW coasts during spring. These increases in suitability may provide greater fishing opportunities in all NSW marine bioregions at different times of the year in the future.

Adapting to the changing climate

Future changes in fish species distributions and seasonal availability may require adaptation from fisheries industries, such as adjustment of quota shares or changes to the timing of fishing for particular target species. Recreational fishers may see changes within their favoured coastal regions, including opportunities for catching different species.

Where can I find the climate suitability maps?

Maps of historical and future climate suitability for commodities were produced to demonstrate where in the state a commodity is likely to thrive or else be limited by future climatic conditions. The maps are not provided on these webpages but can be found in the Climate Vulnerability Assessment Summary Report (PDF, 41425.92 KB).

Dolphinfish Factsheet

(PDF, 648.77 KB)

Summary Report

(PDF, 41425.92 KB)

Related Climate Vulnerability Assessments

Contact us

For more information please email: vulnerability.assessment@dpi.nsw.gov.au