Filter by Type

Community Reorganization in the Gulf of Alaska following Ocean Climate Regime Shift

Paul J. Anderson and John F. Piatt
Created: 11/05/1999 - Updated: 11/06/2018


A shift in ocean climate during the late 1970s triggered a reorganization of community structure in the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem, as evidenced in changing catch composition on long-term (1953 to 1997) small-mesh trawl surveys. Forage species such as pandalid shrimp and capelin declined because of recruitment failure and predation, and populations have not yet recovered. Total trawl catch biomass declined >5O% and remained low through the 1980s. In contrast, recruitment of high trophiclevel groundfish improved during the 1980s, yielding a >250% increase in catch biomass during the 1990s. This trophic reorganization apparently had negative effects on piscivorous sea birds and marine mammals.

Published On

Saturday, November 6, 1999


State / Provincial
Sector Addressed: 
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Fishery harvest
Habitat extent
Range shifts
Species of concern
Water temperature
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate climate change into harvest/take policies
Taxonomic Focus: