News and Announcements


NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) approach helped NOAA scientists overcome a lack of fisheries and ecosystem data

November 11, 2021

NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) approach helped NOAA scientists overcome a lack of fisheries and ecosystem data by integrating monitoring data with simulations and models. Ecosystem data is necessary to inform management within the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. NOAA’s IEA approach allows scientists to take a broader look at what is happening in an ecosystem, rather than individual parts, to address complex issues. Applying ecosystem knowledge from a portfolio indicators from survey observations and models, NOAA scientists can assess ecosystem condition with less data available. For example, during the pandemic when surveys were cancelled, scientists estimated fish abundance with limited trawl data by combining simulated survey effort reductions, seabird diet observations with new predictive models, and predicted krill species distributions based on past survey observations. To sum it up, we need to understand the connection of things, not only to be better prepared during periods of poor (data) observations, but in general, if we're going to rise to meet new challenges in managing and conserving marine living resources.


New Publication Evaluates Scientific Models That Project Ecosystem Responses to Management Interventions or Environmental Change

November 1, 2021

Overview of variables included in the Pribilof Islands Blue King Crab conceptual model. For clarity, variables are organized into descriptive groups. Variables that were perturbed in the warming and fishing scenarios are indicated by thick outlines. Arrows symbolize general interaction within and across groups of variables; a detailed diagram with all pairwise links is provided in the Supplementary Materials. (Reum et al. 2021)


A new publication from NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) program explores how consistently three different network model frameworks predict ecosystem responses to management interventions and environmental change. Developing scientific models that link together key components of an ecosystem, including human needs and activities, and using these models to conduct scenario analyses is an important step in NOAA’s IEA approach.  The authors found that using a single modeling framework to make these predictions might not be sufficient to capture the uncertainty in the predictions.  



Newport Hydrographic Line Data Helps California Current IEA team Understand Ecosystem

September 16, 2021

Ocean surveys helping us understand the connections between changes in ocean climate and ecosystem structure and function in the California Current. 


NOAA Fisheries Holds Workshop to Improve Ecosystem Status Reports

August 27, 2021

NOAA Fisheries Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) Working Group held a four-day workshop on applications of Ecosystem Status Reports. The virtual workshop brought together NOAA Fisheries staff from Headquarters and the Northeast, Southeast, West Coast, Alaska, and Pacific Islands regions, along with representatives of regional Fishery Management Councils. This workshop was intended to:

  • Share how ecosystem information contained within Ecosystem Status reports has been used to inform other EBFM-related management products
  • Begin regional discussions on the priority of EBFM-related products in relation to management priorities
  • Identify the types of onramps to deliver ecosystem information into the fishery management decision making process
  • Engage regional offices, fishery management councils, and other policy makers in the use of EBFM products

A report will come from this workshop in the coming months describing the outcomes and lessons learned. To learn more about Ecosystem Status Reports go here. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries EBFM Roadmap go here


Northeast IEA state of the Ecosystem report symbol

Northeast IEA Workshop to Develop 2022 State of the Ecosystem Reports This Week

August 23, 2021


The Northeast Integrated Ecosystem Assessment team kicked off the 2022 State of the Ecosystem Reports Workshop this week. This workshop is an important first step to gather data, review feedback from fishery management council members, and touch base with scientists of different disciplines.  This workshop will help scientists put together the broader picture of how the New England and Mid-Atlantic ecosystems are doing. Information included in these reports includes oceanographic, ecological, and socio-economic. The reports are meant to provide ecosystem information and synthesis to the Fisheries Managers to help them move towards Ecosystem-based fisheries management. The 2022 reports will maintain the same structure as last year including a graphic summary comparing ecosystem indicators to management objectives and potential risks to meeting those objectives. Changes will include updated data and incorporation of some feedback from the councils last year. Read more about this process here


Look for these reports in March and April of 2022. In the meantime check out this presentation on operationalizing SOEs here (minute 32-60). 


RV Walton smith

Key West Port Water Quality Changes

August 17, 2021

The Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment team presented water quality data to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Data presented included dissolved inorganic nitrogen, chlorophyll-a, silica, turbidity, and several others. This information was presented to the council to better understand how cruise ships impact water quality. This long term water quality monitoring dataset presented offers an opportunity to look at changes over time, including any that may come from changing use patterns in the area.