Current Conditions of the Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem
A current summary of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and other conditions on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf.
This is a biannual report on ecosystem and fisheries indicators for the Northeast U.S. continental shelf ecosystem. The report includes measurements of temperature and salinity indicators of seasonal warming and cooling patterns. Indicators describing phytoplankton distribution and blooms are derived from satellite remote sensing data. Upper trophic level indicators of fish and macroinvertebrate habitat and distribution dynamics are based on the Northeast Fisheries Science Center bottom trawl surveys.
Current Report Summary
- During the last half of 2022, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem continued to be above average following a shift in thermal conditions that began around 2010. In some areas, temperature was approximately 3°C above mean levels.
- Fall phytoplankton blooms were generally above average inclusive of Georges Bank, Gulf of Maine, and the Scotian Shelf ecoregions.
- Chlorophyll concentration increased in the second half of 2022 reversing a decadal trend of decline.
- The fall thermal transition continues to shift to progressively later in the year, raising concern over the timing of production cycles in the food web.