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Following Fish on the Move

Jun 13, 2018
Spring 2018

As ocean temperatures change, so too does the mix of species found along the Northeast Shelf, creating both challenges and opportunities for the region’s fisheries. Fishermen will adapt as traditional species become less available in some areas, and may rely on newly emerging species as an alternative.

The fishermen we work with tell us they need access to emerging species as a way of sustaining their livelihoods and communities. However, there are several key management hurdles to clear for that to become possible.

One challenge is determining whether a stock will remain healthy if it is fished in a new area. A second challenge is related to allocation (e.g., gaining permits and quota to fish the stock).New work, led by GMRI Research Scientist Dr. Kathy Mills, will address this first concern, which is a likely prerequisite to addressing the allocation problem. Dr. Mills has been selected as a 2018 Pew Marine Fellow to conduct this work.

"The most exciting part of this work is the opportunity to support climate adaptation efforts by fishermen, fisheries, and communities in the region,” said Dr. Mills. “It’s a great honor to have been awarded this fellowship, which will help us provide information to help fishermen and their communities.”

This prestigious fellowship will support Dr. Mills’ research to understand how warming waters are affecting distribution shifts in fish and invertebrates, and to evaluate how fish populations will respond under various harvesting and climate scenarios. This information will help identify adaptation strategies that can both sustain fish populations and afford new fishing opportunities in the future.