News and Announcements

Unsettled Pacific Ocean Offers Surprises as Climate Change Alters Ecosystem

March 7, 2023

The new 2022-2023 California Current Ecosystem Status Report shows that ecosystem conditions were initially favorable and foreshadowed strong upwelling events and high productivity along the coast. However, a new offshore heatwave and small-scale localized conditions resulted in warm coastal waters and weak upwelling, poor productivity in many areas by the end of 2022. This weakening between an environmental conditions and their ability to predict future conditions is known as “decoupling”, and could have big implications for traditional methods that rely on these environmental relationships to predict fish abundance. 

Today, NOAA Fisheries researchers from the Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers presented these findings to the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The California Current Ecosystem spans coastal waters from Washington down to California. The annual status report presents a big picture look at the biology, climate, physical, and socioeconomic conditions of the marine ecosystem. This assessment informs fisheries management by describing the connectivity and dynamic-nature of the ecosystem that affect the distribution and abundances of all marine species from krill to salmon to whales.

Read a summary of the 2022-2023 California Current Ecosystem Status Report here. 

Access the 2022-2023 California Current Ecosystem Status Report here

Read previous California Current Ecosystem Status Reports here.