5. Adaptation Strategies

Participants were also asked to identify strategies or actions that should be considered with respect to fisheries management in a changing climate in an open-ended answer. Figure 7 displays the word cloud generated from these responses.

Responses to this question are grouped into three overarching themes:

  1. Increasing the use of adaptive and flexible management
  2. Increasing cooperation and coordination
  3. Conducting monitoring and collecting/refining data

Figure 7

Adaptive & Flexible Management

Specific comments related to increasing the use of adaptive and flexible management approaches include:

  • Utilize ecosystem-based management approaches. “An ecosystem-based fisheries management system could very well help managers identify and respond to changes in the environment, assess the interaction among species in the water, and account for the needs of marine life that depend on forage species. Climate change should not be used as a ‘get out of jail free card’ to ignore other impacts on fisheries, such as overfishing and habitat degradation, or as an excuse to weaken the targets and timeframes for rebuilding depleted stocks.”
  • Embrace the precautionary principle. For example, “lower catch limits [or impose] a moratorium until scientific information is gathered and analyzed to determine a sustainable level of harvest within an ecosystem context.”
  • Create flexible management frameworks. Change the structure of the regional fishery council system so that “management authority migrates with the fish.” For example, “there may be a need to either change management zone boundaries (moving them farther north) to ‘follow the fish’ or potentially changing target species if other species are responding favorably to the changing temperature regime.”
  • Consider interrelated impacts of climate change on multiple fisheries. “Single species management is outdated for factoring climate impacts.”
  • Monitor and establish decision-making triggers. “Develop ecosystem indicators [or] thresholds at which actions should be taken to respond to changing conditions, and a mechanism [or] process that is triggered to develop and implement those actions.”
  • Preserve genetic diversity. Invest in gene banking or cryopreservation of key species that may be lost


Cooperation & Collaboration

Specific comments related to increasing cooperation and collaboration in fisheries management include:

  • Improve cooperation between industry and management. “Industry involvement in assessment reviews and management plan development.”
  • Improve regional coordination. “Regional action between all user groups such as the federal, state and tribal governing bodies” on research, networking, and management.
  • Improve communication between all stakeholders. “Reduce the us vs. them culture to more of a ‘we are all in this state of climate change uncertainty, and let’s learn about and face the challenges together’” for managers, scientists, and fishing industry players.


Monitoring & Data

Specific comments related to increasing and improving monitoring and data collection and analysis in fisheries management include:

  • Bolster stock assessment models with additional information. “Incorporate ecosystem components into stock assessment models (i.e. temperature-dependent recruitment, predation pressure, prey availability).”
  • Improve ecosystem models. Invest in “ecosystem-based models that can account for broad-scale, long-term climatic changes that impact species distribution in conjunction with changes in fishing pressure.”
  • Utilize various monitoring and data sources. “Implementation and use of real-time resource user ecological data [regarding] processes, timing, behavior, geographic shifts, etc.”
  • Expand information sources. Create “scenarios that evaluate physical forecasts as well as different adaptive capacities” of fish and fisheries.
  • Examine a breadth of information rather than individual data points. The “synergistic effects of system stressors needs to be identified.”