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Ecosystem-Based Management on the West Coast

The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem is a dynamic, diverse environment in the eastern North Pacific Ocean spanning nearly 3,000 km from southern British Columbia to Baja California, and includes the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, the coastal land-sea interface, and adjacent terrestrial watersheds.

The California Current Ecosystem is one of the world’s four eastern boundary current ecosystems, which are characterized by high productivity, climatic variability, and high biodiversity.  NOAA Fisheries is proud of our regional partnerships supporting collaborative and ecosystem-based decision making, and of our agency’s pioneering scientific work on the California Current Ecosystem.


Ecosystem Science


NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker and Saildrone off the coast of California. Photo: NOAA

NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers support our partners and the West Coast Region with an array of ongoing science programs and projects exploring the California Current Ecosystem.

California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Ecosystem Indicator Status and Trends


Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management


Juvenile rockfish on Cordell Bank. Photo: NOAA.

NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region works with our agency colleagues around the country to develop nationwide policies on ecosystem-based fisheries management and to implement those policies through regional planning efforts.

Western Regional Implementation Plan for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Ecosystems Science and Management at NOAA Fisheries


Pacific Fishery Management Council Partnership

Handline Fishing Albacore Tuna_SWFSC.jpg

Handline fishing albacore off the California coast. Photo: NOAA.

We partner with the Pacific Fishery Management Council and western states and tribes to implement ecosystem-based fisheries management off the U.S. West Coast.

Pacific Coast Fishery Ecosystem Plan


Featured News


NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker at sea. 

Now the longest-running ocean monitoring program on the planet, California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations provides 70 years of data and discoveries to help us better manage our West Coast fisheries. Kristen Koch, director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, explains why this survey is so important to our coastal communities.

California Ecosystem Surveys Give Insight on Ocean Changes to Come

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on May 11, 2022