As global oceans warm, many fish and invertebrate species are shifting their distributions, affecting both their availability to fisheries and their productivity. These shifting stocks present a challenge to fisheries managers and can lead to conflicts among fisheries stakeholders. While scientists have already worked to provide long-term projections of distribution shifts, fisheries management decisions are typically made for the upcoming year or several years, and shorter-term forecasts that match that timescale are needed.
The Lenfest Ocean Program is supporting Dr. Malin Pinsky of Rutgers University and his team to develop models to forecast how the distributions of four economically important species along the U.S. East Coast will change over 1 to-10-year timescales. The modeling method, which couples ocean conditions with the biology of each species, can eventually be expanded to predict movements and productivity for a broad range of species. This research aims to provide short-term information that is of greatest need to fisheries managers.