NOAA Funds Seven New Projects to Increase Understanding and Response to Climate Impacts on U.S. Fisheries 

NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology has teamed up with the NOAA Research Climate Program Office to study the impacts of a changing climate on the fish and fisheries of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. Together, these offices are providing $5.0 million in grant funding over the next three years to support seven new projects.

Resilient and sustainable fisheries provide an important source of jobs, food, recreation and economic activity for the nation. In 2013, U.S. marine commercial and recreational fisheries contributed $195 billion in sales impacts and provided 1.7 million jobs. 

Warming oceans, rising seas, ocean acidification, and hypoxia are impacting America’s marine life and the many people, businesses, communities and economies that depend on them. Climate-related impacts can affect the abundance, distribution, and productivity of fish stocks.  Fishermen, sea-food processors, fishery managers and other decision makers need more information on current and future changes to better prepare and respond.

NOAA is taking a proactive approach to meet these needs and address climate-related impacts on fish and fisheries. Earlier this year, NOAA Fisheries released the agency’s Climate Science Strategy to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information in fishery management and protected species conservation. These seven projects funded by NOAA Fisheries and NOAA Research directly address some of the priority information needs identified in the Strategy. The projects will help to advance understanding of current and future climate-related impacts on key fish stocks and fisheries in the Northeast to help inform future decisions by fishery managers and affected fisheries across the region.

The seven new projects were selected as part of a competitive grants process to address one or more of the following focus areas.   Some of the funding will support collaborative projects among academic and NOAA scientists in the Northeast region (see project descriptions below).    The projects address one or more of the following focus areas:  1) advancing the understanding and projection of the impacts of climate variability and change on fish or other species that support economically important fisheries in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem, 2) improving our understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of climate variability and change on fisheries and fishery dependent communities in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem, and 3) enhancing the use and application of climate-related data and information in fisheries stock assessments and management decisions.  

For more information on NOAA Fisheries efforts to help the nation prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts on marine resources and the people who depend on them please see the links below or contact

NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Research

NMFS Press Release


Below is a list of the seven awards made in 2015 under the FY2014 Understanding Climate Impacts on Fish Stocks and Fisheries to Inform Sustainable Management Federal Funding. All grants projects have been awarded by the NOAA Grants Management Division and have been accepted by the institutions.  The attachment lists all funded projects and includes the project title, Principal Investigators (PIs), and collaborators.


Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) - “Evaluating Social-Ecological Vulnerability and Climate Adaptation Strategies for Northeast U.S. Fishing Communities”


  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Katherine Mills (Gulf of Maine Research Institute), 
  • Co-PIs: Jenny Sun (GMRI), Steve Eayrs (GMRI), Jonathan Labaree (GMRI), Troy Hartley (Virginia Institute of Marine Science), Jon Hare (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett Laboratory), Lisa Colburn (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett Laboratory), Eric Thunberg (NOAA Fisheries)


University of Rhode Island - “Robust harvest strategies for responding to climate induced changes in fish productivity”


  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Jeremy Collie (University of Rhode Island)
  • Co-PIs: Jon Hare (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett Laboratory), Richard Bell (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett Laboratory), David Richardson (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Narragansett Laboratory)


Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - “Climate velocity over the 21st century and its implications for fisheries management in the Northeast U.S.”


  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Malin Pinsky (Rutgers University)
  • Co-PI: Richard Seagraves (Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council)


Rutgers University and NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory - “A high-resolution physical-biological study of the Northeast U.S. shelf: Past variability and future change”


  • Lead Principal Investigators (PI): Enrique Curchitser (Rutgers University), Michael Alexander (Earth Systems Research Laboratory)
  • Co-PI: Charles Stock (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory)


NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, University of Delaware - MARACOOS, Rutgers University, and University of Rhode Island - “Indicators of habitat change affecting three key commercial species of the U.S. Northeast Shelf: A design to facilitate proactive management in the face of climate change


  • Lead Principal Investigators (PI): Vincent Saba (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Peter Moore (University of Delaware - MARACOOS), Grace Saba (Rutgers University), and Brad Seibel (University of Rhode Island),


Northeastern University - “Predicting social impacts of climate change in fisheries”


  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Steven Scyphers (Northeastern University)
  • CO-PIs: Jonathan Grabowski(Northeastern University), Steven Gray (University of Massachusetts),  Loren McClenachan (Colby College), J. Lad Akins (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), Pamela Schofield (United States Geological Survey)


NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory: “Ecosystem Tipping Points in the North Pacific: Identifying Thresholds in Response to Climate Change and Potential Management Strategies “


Lead Principal Investigators (PI): Cisco Werner (NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center), Robert Webb (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory)