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Peter Fairweather

The next presentation was given by Peter Fairweather, Professor of Marine Biology at Flinders University and a quantitative ecologist with more than 30 year’s experience. His research interests span the ecology of coastal environments and, in particular, the assessment of human impacts on biotic assemblages. Using an example of a fishery from the Coorong in his presentation ‘Predicting changes to seascapes under future climate, with the Coorong as a case study’, Peter emphasised that the need for well informed managerial decisions, such as the allocation of fishing effort, will be vital if the seafood industry is ready to adapt to climate change before its impact reduces the industry’s sustainability. Using models produced for the Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth ecology program to describe the ecosystem states of the Coorong and Murray Mouth, the likely implications of a range of climate change and management scenarios to highlight the potential impact on commercial fishing opportunities were predicted. They showed that over the next 20 to 50 years, tropical elements will expand in range but cold-temperate communities will contract or disappear altogether from South Australia.