Improving the way U.S. fisheries management accounts for shifting distributions: detection and attribution

Dr Jay Peterson1, Ms Melissa Karp2, Dr. Patrick Lynch1, Mr. Roger Griffis1

1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, United States, 2ECS Federal, LLC, Fairfax, United States

Incorporating species distribution shifts into management decisions depends on the ability to detect that a change has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur in the future. The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) conducts targeted surveys, monitoring and research critical to tracking and understanding the physical, biological, and socio-economic conditions affecting marine fish stocks and fisheries. Shifts in the distribution of marine fish and fisheries may mean that the distributions no longer align temporally or spatially with traditional survey grids which will impact the ability to collect key information.  To address these challenges, a working group of NOAA Fisheries scientists identified specific issues, needs, and recommendations to advance the production, delivery, and use of climate and environmental information in fisheries management.  This talk will discuss the recommendations for how to better account for shifting distributions with a particular focus on ways to improve the detection and mechanistic understanding of fishery responses to changing climate and ocean conditions.  The recommendations include the need to expand the spatial and temporal coverage of surveys and monitoring efforts; evaluate fishery catchability and survey selectivity in relation to environmental and habitat conditions; coordinate sampling and data protocols across jurisdictional boundaries; and provide better access to information on shifting distributions of marine species.  The presentation will outline additional efforts to help scientists, managers, fishermen and other stakeholders track and visualize current and future shifts in the distribution of marine species.


Jay is a fishery biologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries).  He works to support the development and coordination of science programs to advance the incorporation of climate and ecosystem information into living marine resource management. Before joining NOAA Fisheries, Jay worked at Oregon State University (USA) studying the effects of changing climate and ocean conditions on zooplankton, and developing ocean ecosystem indicators of salmon survival.

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