March 19-21, 2014: East Coast Climate Change and Fisheries Governance Workshop



In March 2014 the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will host a workshop on climate change and fisheries governance. The primary objective of the workshop, which is geared toward East Coast fishery managers and scientists, is to establish a shared frame of reference regarding the potential impacts of climate change on marine fisheries governance. During the workshop, participants will explore existing and potential impacts of climate change on fisheries governance and discuss potential strategies for addressing or mitigating these impacts. 

With support from the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is planning the workshop in conjunction with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and NOAA Fisheries. Invited participants will include East Coast fishery managers, scientists, support staff and others from each management region and NOAA Fisheries. 

Background and Objectives

The impacts of climate change on East Coast marine ecosystems are a reality. Fishery managers, scientists, and stakeholders have observed noticeable shifts in the geographic distributions, productivity, and life history characteristics of many important marine fisheries. These trends, which appear to be linked with climate-driven ecological changes, are likely to have a substantial impact on fisheries management for years to come. Climate change raises challenging questions regarding the capacity of our current fisheries governance framework to respond to these changes within, as well as across, jurisdictions.

The East Coast Climate Change and Fisheries Governance Workshop is intended to support managers in identifying existing or potential climate-related effects on governance and evaluating potential solutions to such challenges. Specifically, workshop participants will work collaboratively to:

  • Explore the existing and potential impacts of climate change on the management and governance of East Coast marine fisheries, with an emphasis on the policy implications of shifting fishery distributions and changing productivity;
  • Evaluate processes for documenting and acknowledging climate-related changes and initiating a management response;
  • Identify key management questions, concerns and information needs to guide future research and coordination between management bodies;
  • Examine the flexibility of the existing management framework to accommodate climate-related governance challenges; and
  • Discuss potential solutions, next steps, and opportunities to maintain a dialogue between East Coast fishery management partners and NOAA Fisheries.


For more information, please contact Mary Clark at (302) 526-5261 or at