CSIRO scientists have reported significant changes in the distribution of coastal fish species which they say is, at least partly, due to climate change.

The scientists have identified 43 species, representing about 30 percent of the inshore fish families occurring in Australia’s southeast coastal waters, that exhibited shifts thought to be climate-related. These include species such as silver drummer and rock blackfish that are breeding and have become more abundant, and range increases in snapper and rock flathead.

Peter Last, curator of the Australian National Fish Collection, said that "The problem is that in southern Tasmania, shallow cold water species have nowhere to escape warmer conditions in the sea."