Climate & Lobsters
February 9, 2017
For New Englanders, the saying "as American as apple pie" may as well be "as New England as lobster." A summer staple, the tasty crustaceans are served in every conceivable way: boiled, baked-stuffed, on pasta, on salads, or on a roll slathered in butter (just to name a few). [Read more...]
New Study Assesses the State and Application of Ecosystem Approaches to Management
January 23, 2017
NOAA in collaboration with researchers from Denmark, Italy, Canda, Norway, Australia, and Germany recently conducted a survey to help assess the current state and application of an ecosystem approach to management (EAM) in several countries worldwide. Over 50 scientists, resource managers, and conservation professionals participated in the survey. The results of this work were published in a December 2016 paper in the ICES Journal of Marine Science by Marshak et al. Learn more about the study here.
Regional Action Plans (RAPs)
December 16, 2016
NOAA Fisheries has released five Regional Action Plans (RAPs) to guide implementation of the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the Northeast, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Islands, West Coast and Alaska Regions. The RAPs respond to the growing demands for information on what’s changing, what’s at risk and how to respond to climate-related changes in marine and coastal ecosystems. The RAPs are designed to increase the production, delivery and use of scientific information required to fulfill NOAA Fisheries’ mandates in a changing world.
The RAPs identify specific actions to address priority information needs identified by NOAA Fisheries, Fishery Management Councils and many other partners and stakeholders. These actions will help track changes, assess risks, provide early warnings and forecasts, and evaluate the best management strategies under changing conditions in each region to increase the resilience of the nation’s valuable marine resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them..
To view a copy of the Regional Action Plans, the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy and other related materials, please visit our website.
NOAA Calls for Proposals on Climate Impacts on Fish Stocks and Fisheries
October 28, 2016
NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology and NOAA OAR Climate Program Office are pleased to announce the release of the FY 2017 Federal Funding Opportunity - Understanding Climate Impacts on Fish Stocks and Fisheries to Inform Sustainable Management - for new research to understand climate impacts on fish stocks and fisheries to inform sustainable management. Funded projects will advance understanding of current and future climate-related impacts on living marine resources and the communities that depend on them. This program directly addresses priority actions called for in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy. Visit the NOAA website for more details on this funding opportunity and previously funded projects.
Call for Nominations — 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award
September 29, 2016
Do you know people or organizations that have made important gains in safeguarding the nation's natural resources in a changing climate? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for a 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources. NOAA is a co-sponsor of this award which recognizes outstanding leadership by individuals or organizations to increase the resilience and adaptation of the nation's valuable natural resources in a changing climate. Nominations are due by November 18, 2016.
GAO Releases Report on Federal Efforts to Address Climate Change on Federal Fisheries
September 28, 2016
The Government Accountability Office released its report on NOAA Fisheries’ efforts to address the effects of climate change on federally-managed fish stocks and fisheries. The report finds that climate-related changes could affect fisheries and that additional information on the magnitude and timing of climate-related effects is needed to reduce these risks. The report highlights NOAA Fisheries efforts to increase the production, delivery and use of climate-related information in fisheries management through the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy and associated Regional Action Plans.
To better manage climate-related risks, the report recommends (1) the development of guidance on how to incorporate climate information into the fisheries management process, and (2) finalizing Regional Action Plans for implementing the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy that incorporate performance measures for tracking achievement of the Strategy’s Objectives. NOAA Fisheries supports the recommendations outlined in the report and will address them as part of our overall efforts to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy, to end and prevent overfishing, and to implement the recently released NOAA Fisheries Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Policy here.
Impacts of Ocean Warming on Marine Life Focus of IUCN Report
September 9, 2016
A new report on ocean warming, explaining the impacts, scale, and consequences on weather, the oceans, marine ecosystems and species, has been released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Two NOAA Fisheries scientists, Vincent Saba and Bruce Collette, are among the 80 international authors of the 450-page report, released September 5 by the IUCN at its World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. To learn more, click here. To read the report, click here.
Draft Gulf of Mexico Climate Science Regional Action Plan
August 10, 2016
NOAA Fisheries released a draft Gulf of Mexico Climate Science Regional Action Plan for public comment. The plan outlines specific actions for understanding, preparing for, and responding to the effects of a changing climate on the region's marine resources and the people who depend on them. Climate-related factors expected to impact the Gulf of Mexico include warming ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Highlights of the Regional Action Plan include establishing a NOAA Fisheries Gulf of Mexico Climate Science Team, expanding scientific expertise and partnerships, conducting vulnerability assessments for Gulf of Mexico species, and updating the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Status Report. The Plan will guide implementation of the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in this region over the next five years. This draft is open for public comment until September 18, 2016. Click here for more information, click here to read the draft Regional Action Plan.
EPA Using OCEANADAPT Tool as Indicator in New Climate Change Report
August 2, 2016
The EPA has published a new iteration of their Climate Change Indicators in the United States Report which includes several new indicators and data series. The new Report provides information on over 30 key indicators of the causes and effects of climate change in the US to help decision-makers understand and respond to a changing world. The Report includes several new indicators, including an indicator to track shifts in the distribution (latitude, depth) of more than 650 marine fish and invertebrates with climate-related changes in US marine ecosystems. The new indicator relies upon information collected annually in NOAA Fisheries’ regional fish stock surveys. The information is available through the OCEANADAPT project, a partnership between NOAA Fisheries and Rutgers University. The OCEANADAPT website allows fisheries managers and other users easy access to information on changes in the distribution of fisheries-related species in US marine waters over the past 40-50 years. The site includes "time-series movies" that show spatial changes in species distributions over time in each region. To learn more about OCEANADAPT, click here.
NOAA Solicits Research Proposals to Explore Seasonal Prediction of Coastal High Water Levels and Changing Living Marine Resources
July 25, 2016
The NOAA OAR Climate Program Office, Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program, in partnership with the Fisheries Office of Science and Technology, is soliciting proposals for multi-year research projects that use climate and Earth system models to help develop a seasonal prediction capability for coastal high water levels and living marine resources. The projects selected through this competition support the kind of priority research called for in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy and will enhance the resiliency of communities vulnerable to coastal flooding and impacted by seasonal shifts in living marine resources. For more details, visit the Climate Program Office's Federal Funding Opportunity Page or the MAPP Program's Information Sheet describing this grant competition. MAPP is hosting a webinar that provides tips for successful applications on Friday, July 29 from 1-2pm ET.
First Winners of Climate Adaptation Leadership Award Announced
June 7, 2016
The first-ever recipients of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources were honored today for their efforts to safeguard America’s natural resources in a changing climate. The seven awardees come from federal, tribal, state, local and non-governmental organizations around the country. NOAA is part of the team of agencies that sponsor this award which recognizes the impacts that individuals and organizations can have in addressing the threat of climate change to the nation’s natural resources. NOAA staff were also part of the team that received an Honorable Mention for the project “Climate-Smart Adaptation for the North-central California Coast and Ocean”. The team was recognized for helping management agencies better respond to the impacts of climate change on the region’s coastal and ocean species and habitats. For more information about the award and the 2016 recipients, please click here.
Resilient Fishing Communities in a Changing Climate Workshop
June 7, 2016
This past May, 40 scientists and stakeholders from around the country came together for a common goal—to increase the resilience of fishing communities in a changing climate. At a workshop co-sponsored by NOAA Fisheries and NOAA Sea Grant, the group sought to identify the information and tools needed during the next 5 years to help fishing communities better understand, prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts on marine resources. For more information, click here.
Final Action Plan for Fish Release Mortality Science
May 18, 2016
NOAA Fisheries recently finalized the Action Plan for Fish Release Mortality Science. This plan aims to identify the best practices for estimating and reducing discard and release mortality for fish in recreational and commercial fisheries. The Action Plan is part of NOAA Fisheries proactive approach to addressing bycatch in U.S. fisheries. To learn more about the Action Plan, click here.
Draft Northeast Climate Science Regional Action Plan
May 16, 2016
NOAA Fisheries released a draft Northeast Climate Science Regional Action Plan for public comment. The plan outlines specific actions for understanding, preparing for, and responding to the effects of a changing climate on the region's marine resources and the people who depend on them. The Northeast Regional Action Plan focuses on climate variability and change in the Northeast large marine ecosystem, which includes waters from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. This draft is open for public comment until July 29, 2016. Click here for more information.
Draft Pacific Islands Climate Science Regional Action Plan
May 6, 2016
NOAA Fisheries released a draft Pacific Islands Climate Science Regional Action Plan for public comment. The plan outlines specific actions for understanding, preparing for, and responding to the effects of a changing climate on the region's marine resources and the people who depend on them. The Pacific Islands Region has spans a large geographic area including the North and South Pacific subtropical gyres and the archipelagic waters of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific remote island areas (PRIAs). This draft Regional Action Plan is open for public comment until June 6, 2016. Click here for more information.
West Coast Draft Climate Regional Action Plan
April 11, 2016
Climate-related changes in ocean ecosystems are impacting the nation's marine species and the people, businesses and communities that depend on them. Today, NOAA Fisheries released a draft Climate Science Regional Action Plan for the West Coast to help address key climate-related information needs in this Region as called for in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy. We are seeking input from partners, stakeholders and the public to the draft plan. We anticipate a final plan to be released later this year. To learn more about the draft Regional Action Plan, click here.
International Conference - Species on the Move
February 9, 2016
NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology is co-sponsoring Species on the Move, the first major international conference focusing on climate-related shifts in species distributions. The conference will convene in Hobart, Australia, February 9-12, bringing together scientists and managers from multiple disciplines to expand understanding about the mechanisms, implications and responses to climate mediated changes in species and ecosystems. To learn more, click here.
Southeastern Bering Sea Draft Climate Regional Action Plan
February 3, 2016
Climate-related changes in ocean ecosystems are impacting the nation's marine species and the people, businesses and communities that depend on them. Today, NOAA Fisheries released a draft Climate Science Regional Action Plan for the southeastern Bering Sea to help address key climate-related information needs in this Region as called for in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy. We are seeking input from partners, stakeholders and the public to strengthen the draft plan, which we intend to finalize by fall, 2016. To learn more about the draft Regional Action Plan, click here.
Northeast Fish and Shellfish Climate Vulnerability Assessment
February 3, 2016
NOAA Fisheries and OAR scientists have recently published an assessment of the climate vulnerability of 82 species of Northeast fish and invertebrates in the online journal PLOS ONE. The Northeast Fish Stock Climate Vulnerability Assessment identifies those species that are most likely to experience changes in abundance or distribution under projected future climate and ocean conditions. The results are designed to help fisheries scientists and managers identify where additional research or management actions may be needed to help reduce impacts and increase resilience. To learn more click here.
Northwest Atlantic Ocean May Get Warmer, Sooner
January 13, 2016
A new study by NOAA researchers suggests future warming of ocean waters off the Northeastern U.S. may be greater and occur at an even faster rate than previously projected. Read more here.
Call for Nominations — Climate Adaptation Leadership Award
January 4, 2016
Who’s leading the way for climate-smart natural resource conservation? Who’s safeguarding natural resources and the people who depend on them in a changing climate? Nominate the individuals or organizations you think are making a difference to understand, prepare for or respond to climate impacts on natural resources. Deadline for nominations is January 22, 2016. Learn more here. Nominate here.
Making the connection between healthy inshore habitat and offshore fisheries
December 30, 2015
Many surveys of ocean fish occur offshore where the adults spend much of their lives. However, inshore habitats ranging from rivers to tidal lagoons provide shelter and protection to the early life stages of these marine species. Understanding these connections can be important to maintaining healthy, sustainable fisheries. Around the country NOAA Fisheries is supporting innovative research to improve the use of habitat information in fisheries management. A recent article by Pew Charitable Trusts highlights the importance of this research to marine fisheries. Learn more about the NOAA Fisheries Habitat Science Program by clicking here.
NOAA Funds Seven New Projects to Increase Understanding and Response to Climate Impacts on U.S. Fisheries
December 18, 2015
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. Click here to learn more.
Cracking the Code: NOAA Fisheries scientists introduce students to the power of coding
December 11, 2015
In the United States 90% of schools don’t teach computer science, yet it is an increasingly important skill in today’s tech-savvy society. As part of the nationwide Hour of Code™ initiative, scientists from NOAA Fisheries and the group Latinos@NOAA held an Hour of Code event at Shepherd Elementary school in Washington, D.C. to get students excited about computer programming (also referred to as coding). Click here to learn more.
Fish Discard and Release Mortality Science
November 19, 2015
Now through December 18th, we invite you to comment on our newly released Draft Action Plan for Fish Release Mortality Science. By working together, stakeholders and NOAA Fisheries and partners can identify the best practices for estimating and reducing release mortality. Improved communication among scientists, managers, fishermen, and other stakeholders is vital to the success of these efforts. Click here to learn more.
Updates to the Social Indicators Mapping Tool
November 17, 2015
NOAA Fisheries updated our Community Social Indicators mapping tool. The tool now includes additional coastal fishing communities — the national database now has nearly 4,000 communities in 23 states — and we updated the social indicators to include the risk from sea-level rise. Using the social indicators and web-based mapping tool to understand vulnerability can assist managers and other stakeholders with working toward resilient communities. This tool allows users to click on a single coastal community to obtain information on how that community rates in terms of the new social indices along a low, medium, medium high or high scale. Click here to learn more.
Vaquita Expedition 2015
October 13, 2015
Scientists from NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center are doing research aboard the R/V Ocean Starr for the Vaquita Expedition 2015, from September 26th to December 3rd. They are using acoustic detectors and visual surveys to monitor vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise. This critically endangered marine mammal lives in just a small portion of the upper region of the Gulf of California. Only about 100 individuals are left, largely due to accidental encounters with gillnets. Click here to learn more.
Photo credit: Thomas A. Jefferson/VIVA Vaquita.
New Study to be conducted in Alaska's Bering Sea
August 26, 2015
NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Research’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the University of Washington (through the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean), are undertaking a novel, multidisciplinary study to improve projections of climate change impacts on Bering Sea fish and fisheries, and evaluate alternative management strategies to reduce impacts and increase resilience of the region’s high value fisheries. Click here to learn more.
Hawaii’s State Mammal on Hawaii Statehood Day
August 21, 2015
Today is the 56th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood. To celebrate this occasion, NOAA Fisheries would like to highlight Hawaii’s state mammal, and one of NOAA Fisheries’ Species in the Spotlight, the Hawaiian monk seal. To learn more, click here.
Our Living Oceans: Habitat
August 12, 2015
Our Living Oceans: Habitat is the first comprehensive summary of habitat information for all fishery and protected marine species under the purview of NOAA Fisheries. The report provides information on habitat science, trends, and research needs nationally and on a region-specific basis. Click here to learn more.
New NOAA study finds independent bait and tackle retailers generate $2.3 billion for U.S. economy
July 16, 2015
Independent marine recreational bait and tackle retail stores provide a big boost to the U.S. economy. According to the new NOAA study, these retailers contribute approximately $2.3 billion across the broader U.S. economy, including $796 million in income. In addition, the industry supports nearly 16,000 jobs across the nation. Click here to read more. Click here for the report webpage.
New Special Issue on Pacific Arctic Marine Ecosystems
July 14, 2015
The Synthesis of Arctic Research project, led by NOAA scientists and supported by BOEM, explores the new state of Pacific Arctic marine ecosystems. Findings have been published in a special issue of Progress in Oceanography. Click here to learn more.
Three new landscapes join the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to conserve and restore their vital habitats
July 14, 2015
NOAA, along with its Federal partners from the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are adding three new landscapes to the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative: The California Headwaters, California’s North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed, and Crown of the Continent. The addition of these three landscapes to the original four vulnerable landscapes of this Initiative: southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region, directly addresses Goal 1 of the National Fish Wildlife and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy to conserve habitat that supports healthy fish, wildlife, and plant populations and ecosystem functions in a changing climate. To learn more, click here.
Happy Birthday National Climate Assessment!
June 22, 2015
The most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) recently celebrated its 1-year anniversary. To mark this milestone, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released a pilot set of 14 new Climate Change Indicators designed to help track, prepare for, and respond to climate-related impacts in key sectors. Nine of the new Indicators were developed with NOAA scientists. To learn more, click here.
2014 Best Papers
Congratulations to the 2014 NOAA Fisheries best paper award recipients: Jay Barlow, Samantha Brooke, and Karin Forney. To learn more, click here.
Students learn about fishery stock assessments
June 22, 2015
NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) and the University of Washington (UW) teamed up to train future fishery scientists with a course that allows students to work on applied fisheries science while getting graduate credits to apply towards their degrees. To learn more, click here.
Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award 2015
May 28, 2015
At the annual meeting of the Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds on May 7, 2015, Lee Benaka and Eileen Sobeck were pleased to learn that a NOAA Fisheries-nominated project received the 2015 Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award. For more information about the award click here.
For more information about NOAA Fisheries' use of streamer lines to prevent seabird mortality, click here.
Federal Agencies announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change:
On April 21, 2015, the Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recognized four collaborative landscape partnerships across the country where Federal agencies will focus efforts with partners to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to a changing climate. Building on existing collaborations, these Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships – located in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region – will help build resilience in regions vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase the benefits of landscape-scale management approaches and help enhance the carbon storage capacity of these natural areas. For more information, click here.
A Century of Fisheries Oceanography
May 13, 2015
This year the field celebrates its 100th anniversary, marked by a special issue of Oceanography magazine guest edited by NOAA Fisheries scientists that describes how NOAA research from the Bering Sea to the Gulf of Mexico has revealed telltale interactions between fisheries and the environment. To learn more, click here.
Scientists Across Nation Address Uncertainty in Marine & Coastal Resource Management
April 28, 2015
Approaches to quantifying and communicating uncertainty transcend disciplines. When sociologists, ecologists, climatologists, and oceanographers work together, a set of best practices for modeling our nation’s aquatic ecosystems can emerge. To learn more, click here.
New Report Estimates Extent of 20th Century Industrial Whaling
March 25, 2015
Between 1900 and 1999, nearly three million large whales were killed and processed. This recent study Provides the first audit of the 20th century’s international commercial whaling operations. For more information, click here.
NOAA Fisheries Joins World’s Experts To Advance Climate-Ready Fisheries Management
March 20, 2015
NOAA Fisheries scientists will join researchers from 50 nations at the Third International Symposium:Effects of Climate Change on the World's Oceans. Read More
The Big-Hearted Blue Whale
February 13, 2015
Not only are blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) the largest animals in the sea, they are also the largest animals ever to live on this planet – even bigger than all known dinosaurs.
With all of that size, the blue whale needs a big heart. In fact, they have the biggest hearts on the planet. The heart of a blue whale weighs more than 1,000 pounds, the weight of an average dairy cow. Read More
MAFAC announces new Climate and Marine Resources Task Force
The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) and NOAA Fisheries are pleased to announce the formation of a new Climateand Marine Resources Task Force. Twelve individuals were selected for the Task Force from a diversity of backgrounds, expertise, skill sets, and regional perspectives. For more information Click Here.
How is climate change impacting our nation's fish populations?
Learn more in this discussion with NOAA Fisheries scientist Dr. Jon Hare. Dr. Hare discusses how fish are shifting their distributions in response to climate change and how those shifts ripple through the ecosystem. To adapt to these changes, Hare says, we need to increase our ability to forecast fish populations even as climate change drives them in unpredictable directions. That will require increased collaboration between fisheries biologists, oceanographers, and climate scientists. Read More.
New climate tool
An innovate new web tool, OCEANADAPT, tracks shifts in the distribution of U.S. fishery species with changing ocean conditions. Developed by NOAA Fisheries and Rutgers University, the web tool delivers up to date information on changes in the distribution of U.S. fish species over the last 40 years using data. Users can track shifts in distribution over time for individual species or groups of species in a region or nation-wide. Read More
NOAA and Partners Take Action to Help Safeguard the Nation’s Fish, Wildlife, and Plants in a Changing Climate
Posted: September 22, 2014
New Progress Report Highlights Activities Underway: Across the country, federal, state and tribal agencies and partners are taking concrete steps to address current and possible future impacts of a changing climate on the nation’s valuable natural resources and the people, communities and businesses that depend on them. Read More
NOAA Scientist Wins Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
Posted: September 2, 2014
NOAA Fisheries Senior Research Scientist Dr. Bruce Collette was recently awarded the Joseph S. Nelson Award for lifetime achievement in ichthyology (the study of fish) from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. This award recognizes an outstanding body of work in ichthyology and is only the second of its kind to be awarded. The award is named for Joseph Nelson, a distinguished ichthyologist best known for his several editions of "Fishes of the World." Read More
COPEPOD Reaches 10 year Milestone
Posted: August 25th, 2014
To provide researchers with critical information on plankton, NOAA Fisheries created a unique database that provides global plankton data along with co-sampled environmental data. This resource is called the Coastal and Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, and Observation Database (COPEPOD). Read More
Dr. Patrick Lynch receives W.F. Thompson Best Paper Award
Posted: August 18th, 2014
Dr. Patrick Lynch's 2012 paper, "Performance of methods used to estimate indices of abundance for highly migratory species," published in Fisheries Research has been selected for this year's W.F. Thompson Best Paper Award. Read More
2013 Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey
Posted: June 18th, 2014
Achieving high quality fisheries involves more than just managing fish. The marine recreational fishing industry is economically important to coastal communities throughout the United States. NOAA Fisheries recognizes that the decisions we make have impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods. Read More
2014 Marine Recreational Fishing Expenditure Survey
Posted: May 5, 2014
In May 2014 we begin our survey of saltwater anglers across the nation. The survey is designed to estimate the amount of money spent by anglers on saltwater fishing trips and fishing-related equipment. Information collected will provide a better understanding of the economic impacts generated from saltwater recreational fishing across the U.S. and contribute to more informed decisions on recreational fishing issues. Read More
NMFS helps sponsor this year's International Smart Gear Competition.
Posted: May 2, 2014
NMFS helps sponsor this year's International Smart Gear Competition. The competition aims to spur ideas for environmentally friendly fishing gear. Read More