The Northern Territory coasts are at the forefront of climate change impacts in Australia. The sea level is rising twice as fast in the NT as elsewhere, and higher sea temperatures are driving many fish species into sub-optimal habitats.
The effects of a warming climate on Territory coasts are increasing in severity as shown by the unprecedented mangrove dieback in the Gulf of Carpentaria, coral bleaching along the Cobourg Peninsula and Arnhem Land, and the warming of popular fishing spot Bynoe Harbour.
Local scientists have warned that Darwin’s local flatback turtle populations could all be born female within 15 years, or worse, completely die out.
It has also been reported that the warming waters cause multiple effects on fish stocks, such as the Barramundi failing to breed on the Daly River, and the NT mud crab fishery was on the brink of collapse in 2016.