A NSW Government website

What is the NSW DPI 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 DPI 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 spotted mackerel via rising ocean temperatures, resulting in differing seasonal impacts for fisheries in NSW coastal waters:

  • Summer – The historically high to very high climate suitability for spotted mackerel during summer in northern and central coastal waters is likely to persist in 2050. Moderate climate suitability in southern waters likely to experience a minimal increase, becoming high to very high (high confidence).
  • Autumn – Historical climate suitability during autumn is high in northern and central coastal waters and moderate in southern waters, and central and southern waters are likely to experience a minimal increase in climate suitability by 2050 (high confidence).
  • Winter – Climate suitability for spotted mackerel during winter is likely to remain similar to historical suitabilities, ranging from moderate in southern waters to high in northern waters, and southern coastal waters are likely to experience minimal positive change (high confidence).
  • Spring – Historical climate suitability for spotted mackerel in spring is low in southern NSW coastal waters and moderate to very high in northern waters. Both southern and northern regions are likely to experience minimal positive changes in climate suitability by 2050, becoming moderate and high to very high, respectively. Moderate climate suitability for spotted mackerel in central NSW waters in spring is expected to remain largely unchanged by 2050 (moderate confidence).

Spotted mackerel vulnerabilities

  • None identified.

Spotted mackerel opportunities

  • The expected year-round minimal increases in climate suitability in southern coastal waters by 2050 are likely to increase fishing opportunities for spotted mackerel for NSW fishers in the Batemans Shelf and northern Twofold Shelf bioregions, as well as in central waters (during autumn) and northern waters (during spring).

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).

Spotted mackerel Factsheet

(PDF, 636.23 KB)

Summary Report

(PDF, 41425.92 KB)

Related Climate Vulnerability Assessments

Contact us

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