Development of climate informed management scenarios for fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea

Publication date
March 29, 2024
Anne Babcock Hollowed, Kirstin K. Holsman, Sarah P. Wise, Alan C. Haynie, Wei Cheng, Diana C. K. Evans, Albert J. Hermann, James N. Ianelli, Kelly A. Kearney, Andre E. Punt, Jonathan C. P. Reum, Diana L. Stram, Cody S. Szuwalski

In recognition of the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems worldwide, integrated research teams have coupled climate change projections with social-ecological models to inform management and evaluate adaptation strategies for the fishing industry and fishing communities. A key step in this process is the selection of scenarios that enable improved adaptation strategies and decision-making through engagements with constituents with diverse interests in the future use of marine resources. This paper presents an approach to selecting and refining climate-informed social-ecological scenarios for groundfish and crab fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea. The approach involved: (a) initial model development to provide worked examples; (b) engagement with stakeholders to seek input on climate-related concerns, priorities, and adaptation options; and (c) establishment of pathways for uptake of climate-informed decision support information into existing management systems. This approach narrowed the range of candidate scenarios, identified pressing climate concerns of constituents, and clarified timelines for scheduling modeling projects to address these concerns. Separating evaluation of management strategies (research modeling) from proposed changes to Fishery Management Plans preserved opportunities for public debate of proposed changes through a well-established regulatory review process. Collectively, these outcomes help to advance the development of a regionally relevant climate-ready harvest policy.

ICES Journal of Marine Science