In the United States, Regional Fisheries Management Councils (RFMCs) rely on scientific assessments of fish stock abundances in their jurisdictions to guide management decisions and set sustainable catch limits. These assessments- or stock assessments- integrate multiple data sources within mathematical models to predict the abundance of fish populations. As climate change alters ocean conditions and shifts fish distributions, data from the past becomes a poorer guide to the future, potentially leading to unreliable management advice.
The Lenfest Ocean Program is funding Dr. Olaf Jensen, University of Wisconsin, to lead a team of researchers to identify and prioritize fish and invertebrate populations that are at greatest risk of stock assessment failures due to climate change. Such information can help inform the RFMCs and their Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs) on stocks that should be prioritized for climate risk policies and methods to improve stock assessment processes.