There are several potential areas in which CLIVAR and the climate community can interact with NMFS, fishery scientists and the marine ecosystem community in general. These include:
- Integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) as part of ecosystem based management (EBM). Managers are moving from managing single species based on their population toward a more holistic approach including the physical system and how it will change over time.
- Climate change is already impact marine ecosystems, e.g. many fish species are moving north or to deeper depths along the US east coast, and will likely have a large impact going forward. Observational analyses, and simulations with climate models and earth system models can provide useful information for the fishery community.
- Climate forecasts from sub-seasonal to decadal time scales.
I will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of these research themes. Fishery scientists are eager to work with climate scientists but some of the challenges include: the knowledge base, or lack thereof, of each other fields; differences in the spatial scale the two communities are working at (e.g. “we have lobster data by county”); uncertainty in climate projections; and obtaining ecosystem relevant variables such as ocean bottom temperature.