Thursday February 23, 2023

NOAA Fisheries

All but the most resilient marine species off the West Coast are likely to be vulnerable to climate change, according to a new NOAA Fisheries assessment. It will help inform fisheries management and species protections as the climate changes in the coming decades.

The assessment found that nearly all commercial fish stocks overseen by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council are vulnerable to climate change. Species with complex life histories, long life spans, or of high commercial value are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the California Current.

“We are looking forward, and we see that changes in these species may be the rule rather than the exception,” said Michelle McClure, lead author of the assessment who did much of the work while at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. “The goal is to anticipate the changes and make more climate-informed management decisions, and this assessment should help.”

Scientists are currently documenting the shift of marine species north or into deeper, cooler waters, as they follow their preferable temperatures. Such shifts are likely to become more widespread as climate change continues. Depressed oxygen levels, known as hypoxia, may also become more common and take a toll on bottom-dwelling species. These species cannot move very far or fast to avoid these low-oxygen areas.

Read more >

Link copied successfully