Seasonal forecasting for decision support in marine fisheries and aquaculture
Hobday, AJ and Spillman, CM and Eveson, JP and Hartog, JR, Seasonal forecasting for decision support in marine fisheries and aquaculture, Fisheries Oceanography, 25, (51) pp. 45-56. ISSN 1054-6006 (2016) [Refereed Article]
The production of marine protein from fishing and aquaculture is influenced by environmental conditions. Ocean temperature, for example, can change the growth rate of cultured animals, or the distribution of wild stocks. In turn these impacts may require changes in fishing or farming practices. In addition to short-term environmental fluctuations, long-term climate-related trends are also resulting in new conditions, necessitating adjustment in fishing, farming and management approaches. Longer-term climate forecasts, however, are seen as less relevant by many in the seafood sector owing to more immediate concerns. Seasonal forecasts provide insight into upcoming environmental conditions, and thus allow improved decision making. Forecasts based on dynamic ocean models are now possible and offer improved performance relative to statistical forecasts, particularly given baseline shifts in the environment as a result of climate change. Seasonal forecasting is being used in marine farming and fishing operations in Australia, including wild tuna and farmed salmon and prawns, to reduce uncertainty and manage business risks. Forecast variables include water temperature, rainfall and air temperature, and are considered useful up to approximately 4 months into the future, depending on the region and season of interest. Species-specific habitat forecasts can also be made by combining these environment forecasts with biological habitat preference data. Seasonal forecasts are useful when a range of options are available for implementation in response to the forecasts. The use of seasonal forecasts in supporting effective marine management may also represent a useful stepping stone to improved decision making and industry resilience at longer timescales.
climate variability, prawn, Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia, risk management, salmon, tuna