Global Marine Hotspots Network

Created: 9/26/2016 - Updated: 3/02/2020


The Global Marine Hotspots Network was created because the oceans are not warming evenly and those areas that are warming the fastest – ocean warming ‘hotspots’ – can be considered as the world’s natural laboratories to provide the knowledge and tools to enable us to adapt wisely, efficiently, and effectively to meet the challenges of a warming environment. The Network was designed to better understand the impacts of climate change on commercial fisheries, which support coastal communities and global industries. The project started in south-east Australia as the South Eastern Australia Program (SEAP), assessing fish stocks through impact and vulnerability assessments and ecosystem models; identifying climate change weaknesses in stock assessment models; and identifying potential adaptation strategies (and barriers) for governance, policy, and management. Thirty-five species were ranked on economic, ecological, and recreational value through consideration of the effects of climate change on distribution, abundance, and phenology. The approach has been applied in Australia, Canada, the United States, and Madagascar, among other locations. The project provides information to help fisheries managers prioritize species for research and protection, while guiding development of potential adaptation strategies.

Project File (s)

Fish hotspots the world's new natural laboratories Networking Across Global Marine "Hotspots"


Hansen, L.J. 2016. Global Marine Hotspots Network. Summary of a project from Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Last updated August 2016.

Project Contact(s)

Gretta PeclSenior Research

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) is a centre of excellence for both research and education. Our research is innovative, relevant, and globally distinctive. Our education delivers first-class programs resulting in highly trained scientists and researchers serving the needs of academic institutions, industry, government and the community.


Scale of Project
Multilateral / Transboundary
National / Federal
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Culture / communities
Diseases or parasites
Fishery harvest
Habitat extent
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Ocean acidification
Oxygen concentrations (hypoxia)
Phenological shifts
Range shifts
Salinization / Saltwater intrusion
Sea level rise
Species of concern
Water quality
Water temperature