The Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA) Program is contributing to NOAA’s response to Executive Order 14008,Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.
Marina Cucuzza, a Knauss Fellow working jointly with NMFS and OAR on the CAFA Program, served as the lead author on NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-218: Synthesis of Public Comments to NOAA on Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Section 216(c): Recommendations on How to Make Fisheries and Protected Resources, Including Aquaculture, More Resilient to Climate Change. NMFS staff Heather Sagar and Roger Griffis were also co-authors of the report.
The authors reviewed, compiled and synthesized input gathered during a public comment period. Input came from environmental groups, fishing sectors (commercial, recreational, and aquaculture), state and tribal wildlife agencies, and academic and scientific entities. NOAA also gathered input via three national stakeholder listening sessions.
Comments primarily focused on science and management recommendations for fisheries and protected resources, but universally emphasizing that NOAA must lead collaborative, equitable, inclusive, and transparent efforts to make fisheries and protected resources more resilient to climate change. All responses were analyzed using a qualitative data analysis process that highlighted the range of input received, and organized the comments by major themes. The input received will be used to inform NOAA’s efforts to advance climate-informed fisheries management and protected resources conservation in a changing climate.
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MISSION: The Climate and Fisheries Adaptation Program (CAFA) is a partnership between the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (NOAA Research) Climate Program Office, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) Office of Science and Technology that supports targeted research to promote adaptation and resilience of the nation's valuable fisheries and fisheries-dependent communities in a changing climate. By bringing together NOAA scientists with many partners, CAFA addresses priority needs for information and tools identified in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy, Regional Action Plans, and other sources.
ISSUE: Healthy fisheries are a significant component of the U.S. economy. Commercial and recreational marine fisheries generate over $200 billion in economic activity and support more than 1.8 million jobs annually (FEUS 2016). Fisheries also support working waterfronts and coastal communities, provide opportunities for commerce, are tied to rich cultures, and help meet the growing demand for seafood across the U.S. and the world.
Climate change is impacting fish stocks, fisheries, and fishing communities, and these impacts are expected to increase. Changing climate and ocean conditions (e.g. warming oceans, changing currents, coastal inundation, extreme events, etc.) can affect the abundance, distribution, and productivity of fish stocks that support economically important fisheries. Sustainable fisheries management requires an improved understanding of how climate, fishing, and other stressors interact to affect fish stocks (including their habitats and prey), fisheries and fishing-dependent communities.
PROGRAM HISTORY: The CAFA Program was established by the NOAA Research Climate Program Office and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology in 2014 to advance understanding of climate‐related impacts on fish stocks, fisheries and fishing communities. The partnership originated through the former Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) Program and in 2021 was renamed the Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA) Program as part of the Climate Program Office Adaptation Sciences Program.
SPONSORS: Funding for the CAFA Program comes from the OAR Climate Program Office and the NMFS Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.
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