Climate Adaptation in Fishery Ecosystems

Andrew Pershing , Gulf of Maine Reseach Institute


Climate impacts are increasingly being recognized in marine ecosystems and fisheries around the world. These impacts will increase as warming trends, extreme temperature events, and ocean acidification become more pronounced. There is a growing need to not only understand and predict the impact of climate change and shorter-term climate variability on fishery ecosystems, but to develop strategies for adapting to these changes.
Through this project, we will lead both a regional and international effort to evaluate climate vulnerabilities in and identify adaptation approaches for marine fisheries.

Specifically, we will:
(1) Organize an international working group on Climate Adaptation in Fisheries
Ecosystems (CAFE) to compare climate impacts and adaptation approaches in three
ecosystems with different fisheries and different management regimes.
(2) Pilot and refine a social-ecological vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning
framework for marine fisheries.

Results of this project will provide information, guidance, and approaches that fishery managers, industry members, and fishing communities can use to effectively plan for and respond to climate change impacts. They will also support NOAA’s strategic vision of resilient coastal communities and economies. The ability to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate is critical in accomplishing this vision, and this project will identify a path towards climate adaptation for marine fisheries.