The aim of this think tank was to examine the responses of Victorian marine environments to realistic climate change scenarios, focusing on a whole-of-ecosystem approach while recognising the inherent connectivity of the marine ecosystems to each other and nearby freshwater and terrestrial environments. Approximately 25 representatives from research organisations, management agencies and industry met for a day and a half in September 2013 at Deakin University’s Warrnambool City Centre to address these issues. 

Key findings and recommendations

• warming seawater temperatures and changing currents are affecting marine animal distributions and commercial fishery stocks, representing opportunities and losses to specific parts of the sector

• long-term data on population sizes and distributions are critical to future management and adaptation to climate change

• industry engagement is vital for fisheries research and long-term data collection and management

• evidence based information to inform coastal adaptation under climate change should come from a single authoritative coordinating body that brings stakeholders and scientists together to examine issues and develop effective adaptation solutions

• boundary spanning is an important mediation process for linking issues and stakeholders and thereby defining a role for scientists to produce useable knowledge on climate change adaptation.

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