In the United States, Regional Fisheries Management Councils (RFMCs) rely on scientific assessments of fish stock abundances in their jurisdictions to guide management decisions. These assessments- or stock assessments- integrate multiple data sources within mathematical models to predict the abundance of fish populations. The stock assessment report helps inform fisheries management advice and set sustainable catch limits. 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.
Marine species live in a variety of habitats over the course of their lives. Where they move often reflects distinct habitat needs such as food, shelter, or physical conditions at different life-stages. As ocean waters warm, however, and fish move in search of their optimal temperature range, key habitats that are required for certain life stages may become restricted.
Cross Currents discusses the ongoing and completed results of research projects the Lenfest Ocean Program has supported over the past 15 years. These nearly 100 projects have helped connect science with marine policy and management.
The Lenfest Ocean Program is a grantmaking program that funds scientific research on policy-relevant topics concerning the world's oceans and communicates the results of the supported research to decision makers and other interested audiences.