Rosemary Rayfuse - Climate Change and International Fisheries: Addressing Climate Change Impacts in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations

Event type: 
24 July 2019
2.00 - 3.00pm

Climate Change Research Centre, Seminar Room, Mathews Building 4th floor, UNSW, Sydney

Prof. Rosemary Rayfuse
University of New South Wales
Climate Change Research Centre

Climate change-induced changes in species composition, distribution and abundance pose significant threats to global fish stocks and to global food security. The transformation of ocean ecosystems as a result of climate change and associated ocean acidification also poses significant challenges for the international regimes established for the conservation and management of international fisheries. Changes in distribution give rise to jurisdictional challenges. Changes in abundance give rise to managerial challenges. Regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) are the international community’s mechanism of choice through which the duty to cooperate in the conservation and management of high seas fisheries resources is to be implemented. Understanding the legal implications of climate change for RFMOs is essential to ensuring their robustness and resilience in addressing the impacts of climate change on the stocks they manage. Consideration is given to the extent to which RFMOs are actively anticipating climate stressors, absorbing the importance of those stressors into their decision-making, and reshaping their management measures to address climate-driven changes.


Brief Biography: Rosemary (LLB Queen’s; LLM Cambridge; PhD Utrecht; LLD h.c. Lund, FASSA) is a Scientia Professor in law at UNSW Law where she specialises in Public International Law and the Law of the Sea. Rosemary’s main areas of research include international fisheries law, polar oceans governance, protection of the marine environment in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the normative effects of climate change in international law. In 2017-18 she was the Swedish Research Council’s Kerstin Hesselgren Visiting Professor at Lund University working on her project on climate change and international fisheries. Current projects include climate change and polar oceans, ocean acidification and regional fisheries bodies, informal law-making and marine plastics, and new technologies to protect the marine environment.