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 Spanish mackerel via rising ocean temperatures, resulting in differing seasonal impacts for fisheries in NSW coastal waters:

  • Summer – The high to very high historical climate suitability for Spanish mackerel in NSW coastal waters during summer is likely to remain in 2050, with southern waters likely to experience minimal positive change (high confidence).
  • Autumn – The historical climate suitability during autumn ranges from moderate in southern NSW waters to high in central and northern waters, and these levels are likely to remain largely unchanged by 2050, with southern waters possibly experiencing minimal positive change, from moderate to high climate suitability (high confidence).
  • Winter – During winter, the historical climate suitability ranges from moderate to high along the NSW coast, and these levels are likely to remain largely unchanged by 2050 (moderate to high confidence).
  • Spring – Historical climate suitability for Spanish mackerel along the NSW coast during spring ranges from low in southern waters to moderate in central waters and high to very high along the northern NSW coast. By 2050 northern and central waters are likely to experience minimal positive change, with the climate suitability of central waters becoming moderate to high (high confidence).

Spanish mackerel vulnerabilities

  • None identified.

Spanish mackerel opportunities

  • NSW coastal waters in spring are likely to experience minimal positive change in climate suitability for Spanish mackerel within the northern and central coastal regions of the NSW, specifically within the Tweed-Moreton, Manning Shelf and Hawkesbury Shelf bioregions. These changes may provide greater opportunity for Spanish mackerel within central and northern coastal regions of NSW 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).

Spanish mackerel Factsheet

(PDF, 1080.97 KB)

Summary Report

(PDF, 41425.92 KB)


Related Climate Vulnerability Assessments



Contact us

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