Modeling Future Fisheries

Tidings | Feb 3, 2021

A new research project led by Dr. Lisa Kerr aims to connect climate, fish, and fisheries models to help fisheries managers make climate-informed decisions.

a graphic depicts dots with fish icons connected by lines over a map of the northeast US

Commercial and recreational fisheries contribute billions of dollars in economic value and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in our region. As the Gulf of Maine warms, communities that depend on these fisheries face increasing risks to their livelihoods.

How do we sustainably harvest fish as they move outside historic ranges? How will fisheries stay profitable in the face of productivity and distribution changes? These are some of the most pressing questions facing coastal communities today.

Now in a new effort, GMRI Research Scientist Dr. Lisa Kerr is leading a team of colleagues throughout the region to develop scientific tools that can help answer these questions. The project unites experts from NOAA, Rutgers University, and GMRI, who all investigate the future of fisheries using models — mathematical representations of natural systems.

The group’s new research will integrate previously disconnected climate, fish, and fisheries models into a flexible framework to help fisheries managers make climate-informed decisions.

As climate change accelerates, the past is an increasingly bad indicator of the future, so as climate and fisheries scientists, it’s critical that we provide tools to help us understand the changes to come. Anticipating the impacts on key commercial fish species will help the individuals, businesses, and communities that depend on them.

Lisa Kerr, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Fisheries Science
This is the staff photo for lisa kerr
Lisa Kerr, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Fisheries Science

This project is supported by NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications program.

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