Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) Fisheries and Climate Program
Jack mackerel schooling around Ship Rock, Catalina Island, California. (NOAA)
Healthy and productive fisheries are a significant component of the U.S. economy.
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries generate over $200 billion in economic activity and support more than 1.8 million jobs annually. Reliant and sustainable fisheries also support working waterfronts, provide opportunities for commerce, and help meet the growing demand for seafood across the U.S. and the world.
There is increasing concern about the impacts of climate variability and change on fish stocks, fisheries, and marine ecosystems in the U.S. Climate variability and change influence many ocean parameters (e.g. extreme events, winds, ocean temperatures, stratification, currents, coastal precipitation, inundation, etc.) that directly and indirectly affect marine ecosystem conditions including the abundance, distribution, and productivity of fish stocks that support economically important fisheries. Sustainable fisheries management requires an improved understanding of how climate, fishing, and other stressors interact to affect fish stocks (including their habitats and prey), fisheries and fishing‐dependent communities.
To address these issues, in 2014 the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Climate Program Office, through the COCA program, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Science and Technology launched a new partnership to advance understanding of climate‐related impacts on fish or other species that support economically important fisheries and fishing communities.
This new partnership brings together NOAA scientists with the academic community, other federal agency scientists, non-governmental organizations and key fisheries stakeholders to directly addresses key research priorities, such as those identified in the 2015 NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy and Fisheries Regional Action Plans (RAPs). The goal is to inform sustainable fisheries management and promote resilience of the nation’s fish stocks and fisheries in a changing climate.
Learn more about the projects funded by the COCA Fisheries and Climate program.