Climate change impacts are a key consideration for the Australian seafood industry, which includes both fisheries and aquaculture. Changes to productivity and/or geographical distribution are envisaged as a direct impact of climate change. Indirect impacts, such as increased competition from other nations, increase in transportation costs due to carbon taxes, impacts on post-harvest infrastructure, are also likely. To date, research and adaptation efforts have largely focused on the production aspects of the industry, since stakeholders perceive climate change impacts as a product supply issue.
However, a recent study by Lim-Camacho et al. (2014) 1 found that a holistic food system approach, which examines the entire seafood supply chain, offers chain-wide adaptation strategies such as relocation to less vulnerable and more accessible areas, vertical integration of operations, better use of climate information, improvement of storage infrastructure, increasing resource use efficiency, and diversification of product offerings. Improving communication and product promotion strategies, together with efforts to strengthen the relationship between producers and customers, were seen as key demand side interventions to enhance competitiveness. In addition to addressing climate change impacts, these strategies help stakeholders achieve commercial objectives. These findings are important and call for systems level thinking and approaches to adaptation planning, which offer multiple benefits to stakeholders.
Relationship to CSA
The Lim-Camacho et al. (2014) 1 study identifies opportunities to implement chain-wide adaptation strategies within the Australian seafood industry. Many of the interventions identified implicitly contribute to increasing productivity and incomes, strengthening the industry’s resilience to climate change and in some cases also offer mitigation benefits. Through careful design, it is possible to ensure that these interventions contribute to CSA pillars.
Impacts and lessons learned
The study found that greater coordination within the industry allows stakeholders to determine the chain-wide effects of strategies put in place in one part of the chain, and thus avoid maladaptation.
Lim-Camacho L, Hobday AJ, Bustamante RH, (…), van Putten I. 2014. Facing the wave of change: stakeholder perspectives on climate adaptation for Australian seafood supply chains. Regional Environmental Change 15(4):595-606.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-014-0670-4 Climate change is one of the most important issues confronting the sustainable supply of seafood, with projections suggesting major effects on wild and farmed fisheries worldwide. While climate change has been a consideration for Australian fisheries and aquaculture management, emphasis in both research and adaptation effort has been at the production end of supply chains—impacts further along the chain have been overlooked to date. A holistic biophysical and socio-economic system view of seafood industries, as represented by end-to-end supply chains, may lead to an additional set of options in the face of climate change, thus maximizing opportunities for improved fishery profitability, while also reducing the potential for maladaptation. In this paper, we explore Australian seafood industry stakeholder perspectives on potential options for adaptation along seafood supply chains based on future potential scenarios. Stakeholders, representing wild capture and aquaculture industries, provided a range of actions targeting different stages of the supply chain. Overall, proposed strategies were predominantly related to the production end of the supply chain, suggesting that greater attention in developing adaptation options is needed at post-production stages. However, there are chain-wide adaptation strategies that can present win–win scenarios, where commercial objectives beyond adaptation can also be addressed alongside direct or indirect impacts of climate. Likewise, certain adaptation strategies in place at one stage of the chain may have varying implications on other stages of the chain. These findings represent an important step in understanding the role of supply chains in effective adaptation of fisheries and aquaculture industries to climate change.