Impacts to Essential Fish Habitat from Non-Fishing Activities in Alaska
EFH 5-Year Review: 2010 through 2015
Alaska extends over Arctic, subarctic, and temperate climate zones. Four recognized Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) exist in these climate zones (NMFS 2010, NOAA 2012). A total of seventeen coastal zones are identified within the nearshore and coastal zones (Piatt and Springer 2007), eight terrestrial coregions are defined above the high tide line to interior Alaska (Nowacki et al. 2001). Water, the most important EFH feature, moves through all of these ecoregions and habitat types. This 2016 report introduces an ecosystem-based approach to this key feature, and presents the current understanding of the existing ecosystem processes within these regions and habitats that support EFH attributes necessary for fish and invertebrate survival at different life stages. A new section also summaries our current understanding of climate change and ocean acidification; presents potential effects on marine EFH, discusses potential cumulative impacts in light of current projections, and includes recommendations for improving our understanding and monitoring of climate change.