Standard Talk (15 mins) Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2022

Forecasts of marine heatwaves for marine industries: reducing risk, building resilience and enhancing management responses (#143)

Jason Hartog 1 , Claire Spillman 2 , Grant Smith 2 , Alistair Hobday 1
  1. Oceans and Atmosphere, CSIRO, Hobart, TAS, Australia
  2. Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne

Ocean use has always been risky because of uncertain and dramatic ocean conditions and modern businesses continue to experience risk due to environmental extremes. A changing physical environment due to anthropogenic climate change and increased frequency of extreme events such as marine heatwaves (MHWs) makes past experience less valuable. This risk can be reduced by utilising seasonal forecasts that provide early warning of climate events several months ahead of time. We demonstrate a number of heatwave forecast products that we have developed. However, to benefit from a forecast, a marine business will need to be agile to respond to changing information and response options. The management agility of different marine businesses in fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism can influence their ability to use seasonal forecast information effectively, and potentially modify the usual negative relationship between resilience and the frequency of the stress event, thus reducing the impact of extreme events. Engagement between forecast developers and marine users can also improve responses, while at the same time, improving the agility of businesses can enhance overall resilience to extreme events and lower their risk.