East Coast Climate Change and Fisheries Governance Workshop

March 19 - 21, 2014

Washington, D.C.

Workshop Report


The purpose of this workshop was to convene managers and staff of East Coast fishery management organizations to discuss the potential governance challenges arising from the impacts of climate change on East Coast marine fisheries.


  • 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 and next steps for adapting and responding to climate change, and identify opportunities to maintain a dialogue between East Coast fishery management partners.

Collaborating Organizations

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

Workshop Documents

Rapid Assessment Profiles

The rapid assessment approach was developed to inform the workshop agenda and discussions. The purpose of these rapid assessments is to describe the current state of knowledge regarding climate change impacts and concerns for managed fisheries, and in particular to help identify intersections with the workshop focus on management and governance. The initial rapid assessments, listed below, were completed by  staff of the councils and Commission. They are not intended to be comprehensive; rather they are a first pass at gathering information, and will serve as living documents that can be refined and updated over time to incorporate new information and perspectives.

Additional Resources