California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment


The California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (CCIEA) is an interdisciplinary research effort led by NOAA scientists along the U.S. West Coast. Our goal is to provide science support for ecosystem-based management of the California Current—a complex ecosystem in which natural and human systems are inextricably linked. 

The California Current marine ecosystem is a highly productive coastal ecosystem in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Seasonal upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water fuels populations of krill, squid, sardines, and other species that are fed upon by larger fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals. The ecosystem supports important fisheries and other activities and provides services for the tens of millions of people living along the West Coast.

News and Highlights

Monitoring Fisheries Resources During a Pandemic

A new CCIEA paper demonstrates the benefits of using a diversified approach to evaluating ecosystem status during data-poor situations.

Marine Heatwave Challenges Solutions to Human-Wildlife Conflict

A newly published study finds fewer win-win solutions for whale conservation and the California Dungeness crab fishery during climate extremes.

Crab Fisheries Response to Climate Shock

Recently published research documents the importance of vessel mobility and access to other fisheries during a climate shock.

2020-21 Ecosystem Status Report Released

The California Current Ecosystem Status Report provides the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the public with a snapshot of the health of the California Current Ecosystem.

California Current Ecosystem Status Report for 2020-21 - Now Available

This technical memo features a suite of ecosystem indicators and analyses, co-developed by the CCIEA team and PFMC, representing our best understanding of environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic conditions roughly through the end of 2020.

Recent Ocean Conditions

Large Scale Oceanographic Indicators graph

View RECENT Ocean Conditions

Featured Project: Ecosystem Context for Reducing West Coast Whale Entanglements


Comparative images of warmwater anomalies in spring 2015 versus summer 2019

The number of large whales entangled in fishing gear off the U.S. West Coast increased in recent years. Now, NOAA Fisheries scientists are beginning to understand the ocean conditions may lead to an increased risk of whale entanglements. Read about the new data dashboard that shares that information with managers and fishermen to help them make decisions that may reduce the whales' risk of becoming entangled in fishing gear.


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California Current