Regional Ecosystem Modeling Efforts
NOAA Fisheries supports and coordinates the development and application of ecosystem models.
NOAA Fisheries supports and coordinates the development and application of ecosystem models. The major goals of this effort are to:
- Conduct science to understand ecosystems
- Modeling the processes, drivers, threats, status, and trends of our ecosystems
- Explore and address trade-offs within an ecosystem
- Establish sufficient EBFM modeling capacity to analyze trade-offs
- Develop Management Strategy Evaluation capabilities to better conduct ecosystem-level analyses to provide ecosystem-wide management advice
- Incorporate ecosystem considerations into management advice
- Develop and monitor Ecosystem-Level Reference Points
- Incorporate ecosystem considerations into appropriate LMR assessments, control rules, and management decisions
- Provide systematic advice for other management considerations, particularly applied across multiple species within an ecosystem
Our Science Centers around the country are developing and applying models for use by regional management bodies, such as Fisheries Management Councils.
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
The Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Division is home to the Alaska Centers efforts. One of the major modeling efforts at this Center is the Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project. This is a collaboration of diverse researchers aimed at giving decision makers critical information regarding the far-reaching impacts of environmental changes in the Bering Sea. This project links climate models to single-species and ecosystem models to assess climate change impacts on fisheries.
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
A primary tool for Northwest Center is the Atlantis Ecosystem Modeling Software. The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) conducted a review of the California Current Atlantis applications.
Researchers at the Science Center, University of Washington, and CSIRO Australia have recently conducted vulnerability assessments of the California Current ecosystem and fisheries to ocean acidification. This involved combining oceanographic projections, a literature review of laboratory studies, and an Atlantis ecosystem model. Learn more >
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
The Southwest Center focuses on the use of ocean circulation models and data to predict the distributions of key living marine resources and guide management decisions to minimize conflicts between fisheries and protected species.
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Scientists here have been using ecosystem models to explore ecosystem dynamics that explain trends in Hawaiian monk seal populations.
They have also developed the Hawai’i Community Snapshots Tool to understand the level of involvement of stakeholders in fisheries and other ocean resource uses. Stakeholder is a key need for developing models and ensuring their utility.
Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Along with academic partners, scientists at the Southeast Center are developing a fisheries Ecosystem Model for the Gulf of Mexico to inform fisheries management.
They are also conducting synthesis and integrating modeling of long-term data sets to support fisheries and hypoxia management in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
They are also in the midst of a project using linked models to predict the impacts of hypoxia on gulf coast fisheries under scenarios of watershed and river management.
Northeast Fisheries Science Center
The Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch is home to the Northeast Center’s ecosystem modeling work. The center has developed a suite of models to be used as their core models for informing fisheries and other living marine resource management. Learn more >
Their models have been reviewed by the Center for Independent Experts to evaluate the appropriateness and performance characteristics of community-level and ecosystem models being considered.