California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Future Seas

A Physics-to-Fisheries Management Strategy Evaluation for the California Current System

Future Seas is a project exploring potential impacts of climate change on the swordfish, albacore, and Pacific sardine fisheries in the California Current System. A suite of dynamical, statistical, and conceptual models is being applied to explore future scenarios in an “end-to-end” framework spanning physical changes to socio-economic consequences, and to evaluate uncertainty associated with individual elements of the modeling framework.


To evaluate the impacts of climate change on US-managed marine species and fishing communities California Current Ecosystem and identify climate-resilient management strategies.

Key elements of the project work plan for the California Current Ecosystem

  • Produce regional climate projections, using output from global climate models to force a high resolution regional ocean model (ROMS) coupled with a biogeochemical model.
  • Predict productivity and distribution changes for Pacific sardine, albacore, and swordfish, and the socio-economic impacts of these changes on fishing communities using climate projections in conjunction with ecological and socio-economic models.
  • Evaluate current catch advice and spatial management strategies for the Pacific sardine, albacore, and swordfish fisheries given the potential future impacts of climate variability and change.
  • Explore possible policy and management responses to climate change and resultant socioeconomic impacts on fishery participants and fishing communities using management scenarios.

Ecocast flowchart

  • NOAA Fisheries
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • Rutgers University
  • University of South Carolina

Project Team

Mike Jacox (, Steven Bograd, Elliott Hazen, Stephen Stohs (NOAA/SWFSC)
Barb Muhling, Desiree Tommasi, Mer Pozo Buil, James Smith, Jon Sweeney, Stephanie Brodie, Stefan Koenigstein, Heather Welch (NOAA/SWFSC and UC Santa Cruz)
Mike Alexander (NOAA/ESRL)
Enrique Curchitser (Rutgers U)
Christopher Edwards, Jerome Fiechter (UC Santa Cruz)
Amber Himes-Cornell (FAO, Italy)
Ryan Rykaczewski (U South Carolina)
Gwendal Le Fol (Independent consultant)
Tim Frawley (California Sea Grant)


Alan Haynie, Anne Hollowed, Kirstin Holsman (NOAA/AFSC)
Alistair Hobday (CSIRO, Australia)
Charlie Stock (NOAA/GFDL)
Stephanie Green, Natasha Hardy (U Alberta)
Larry Crowder (Stanford)

Funded by NOAA/CPO Coastal and Oceans Climate Applications program and the NOAA/NMFS Office of Science and Technology