Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8539
Title: Climate Science Strategy of the US National Marine Fisheries Service
Author: D. S. Busch, Roger Griffis, Jason S. Link, Karen Abrams, J. Baker, R. E. Brainard, Michael Ford, Jonathan A. Hare, Amber Himes-Cornell, Anne Hollowed, Nathan Mantua, Sam McClatchie, Michelle M. McClure, Mark W. Nelson, Kenric Osgood, M. B. Rust, Vincent Saba, Michael Sigler, Seth Sykora-Bodie, Christopher L. Toole, Eric Thunberg, Robin S. Waples, R. Merrick
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Marine Policy
Keywords: adaptation, climate policy, ecosystem-based management, fisheries management, living marine resources, marine conservation ,

Changes to our climate and oceans are already affecting living marine resources (LMRs) and the people, businesses, and economies that depend on them.  As a result, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has developed a Climate Science Strategy (CSS) to increase the production and use of the climate-related information necessary to fulfill its LMR stewardship mission. The CSS identifies seven objectives: (1) identify appropriate, climate-informed reference points; (2) identify robust strategies for managing LMRs under changing climate conditions; (3) design adaptive decision processes; (4) identify future states of ecosystems, LMRs, and LMR-dependent human communities; (5) identify the mechanisms of climate-change related effects on ecosystems, LMRs, and LMR-dependent human communities; (6) track trends in ecosystems, LMRs, and LMR-dependent human communities and provide early warning of change; and (7) build and maintain the science infrastructure required to fulfill NMFS mandates under changing climate conditions. These objectives provide a nationally consistent but regionally focused approach to addressing climate-LMR science needs to support informed decision-making and effective implementation of NMFS’s legislative mandates. Near term actions that will address all objectives include: 1) conducting climate vulnerability analyses in each region for all LMRs; 2) establishing and strengthening ecosystem indicators and status reports in all regions; and 3) developing a capacity to conduct management strategy evaluations of climate related impacts on management targets, priorities, and goals. Implementation of the Strategy over the next three to five years and beyond is critical for effective fulfillment of the NMFS mission and mandates in a changing climate. 


Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Understand how climate influences ecosystem variability.
Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Official Citation:

Busch, D. S., R. Griffis, J. S. Link, K. Abrams, J. Baker, R. E. Brainard, M. Ford, J. A. Hare, A. Himes-Cornell, A. Hollowed, N. Mantua, S. McClatchie, M. M. McClure, M. W. Nelson, K. Osgood, M. B. Rust, V. Saba, M. Sigler, S. Sykora-Bodie, C. L. Toole, E. Thunberg, R. S. Waples, R. Merrick. 2016.  Climate Science Strategy of the US National Marine Fisheries Service. Marine Policy 74:58-67.