2017 Forum

Managing Fisheries in a Changing Environment

May 1-2, 2017 • Monterey, CA

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Briefing materials and additional resources

Please note: Text on this page is maintained for archival and research interests, though broken links have been removed.

Recommended reading

Morley, J. W., Batt, R. D. and Pinsky, M. L. (2016). Marine assemblages respond rapidly to winter climate variability. Glob Change Biol. [doi:10.1111/gcb.13578]

Pinsky, M.L., B. Worm, M.J. Fogarty, J.L. Sarmiento, S.A. Levin. (2013). Marine taxa track local climate velocities. Science 341 (6151):1239-1242 [doi:10.1125/science.1239352]

Zador, S.G., K.K. Holsman, K.Y. Aydin, and S.K. Gaichas. (2017). Ecosystem considerations in Alaska: the value of qualitative assessments. ICES Journal of Marine Science 74: 421-430 [doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw144]

OceanAdapt webtool – Explore changing species distributions. Collaboration between the Pinsky lab at Rutgers University and NOAA Fisheries.

Regional climate and EBFM resources

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The Council recently approved a final Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management Guidance Document (EAFM). The EAFM approach is intended to meet existing single-species management requirements while considering broader interactions within the ecosystem. Climate variability and change was one of the Council’s four focal areas for developing the EAFM approach.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The Council initiated the development of a Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) in 2015. This plan “could be used to guide policy options and associated opportunities, risks, and tradeoffs affecting FMP species and the broader Bering Sea ecosystem in a systematic manner.” The proposed FEP would be supported through initiatives consistent with the goals of the FEP. One proposed module would focus on evaluating the vulnerability of key species and fisheries to climate change.

  • Bering Sea FEP
  • Bering Sea FEP Discussion Paper (download from NPFMC site; see Documents and Motions, FEP scoping phase 2013-2016)
  • Aleutian Islands FEP (2007)

Pacific Fishery Management Council

The Council adopted a Fishery Ecosystem Plan in 2013. The Plan is supported and implemented through specific initiatives. In March 2017 the Council requested their Ecosystem Workgroup scope two initiatives for consideration, including one that would focus on the effects of near-term climate shift and long-term climate change on fish, fisheries, and fishing communities.


  • Pacific Coast Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the U.S. Portion of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
  • Ecosystem Initiatives Appendix
  • March 2017 Meeting Summary and Ecosystem Workgroup Report on the Review of Fishery Ecosystem Plan Initiatives

NOAA Fisheries Initiatives

National EBFM Policy

The NOAA Fisheries Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) Policy outlines the principles of EBFM, and the EBFM Road Map identifies actions that can be taken to support the implementation of these principles.

EBFM Policy • EBFM Road Map

NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy

The NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy is part of a proactive approach to increase the production, delivery and use of climate-related information to fulfill NOAA Fisheries mandates in a changing climate. NOAA Fisheries and its partners have developed Regional Action Plans to guide implementation of the Strategy in each region.

Climate homepage

Regional Action Plans:

  • Northeast Regional Action Plan
  • Pacific Islands Regional Action Plan
  • Western Regional Action Plan
  • Southeast Regional Action Plan
  • Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan
  • Alaska-Bering Sea Regional Action Plan

NOAA Fisheries Climate Vulnerability Assessment Methodology

The NOAA Fisheries Fish Species Climate Vulnerability Methodology provides decision-makers with information on the relative vulnerability of fish species with expected changes in climate and ocean conditions.

Climate Vulnerability Assessment homepage


  • Methodology for Assessing the Vulnerability of Marine Fish and Shellfish Species to a Changing Climate
  • A Vulnerability Assessment of Fish and Invertebrates to Climate Change on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf

Ecosystem indicators and status reports

Alaska Region

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center produces annual Ecosystem Considerations reports for the Eastern Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, and Arctic (forthcoming). Reports include ecosystem report cards, ecosystem assessments, and ecosystem and ecosystem-based management indicators.

Pacific Region

The Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers provide the Pacific Council with an annual State of the California Current Ecosystem Report. The Council is currently proceeding with an initiative to refine and improve the indicators presented in this report through its Coordinated Ecosystem Indicator Review Initiative.

  • Annual State of the California Current Reports
  • California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment
  • Background on the Coordinated Ecosystem Indicator Review initiative


The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is currently developing a Mid-Atlantic State of the Ecosystem Report tailored to the Mid-Atlantic region.