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The effects of climate change are already being reported in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, the nutrient-rich waters along the coast of western North America that support huge numbers of marine life.

These effects include changes in the numbers of cold and warm water species and range shifts towards cooler waters. To provide information for the future management of fish in this region, researchers conducted a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for 64 species to determine whether and how species will respond to climate change. Two-thirds of the species were identified as vulnerable. The most vulnerable species had characteristics such as complex life histories requiring both marine and freshwater habitats (salmon), long lifespans (rockfish), or high commercial value (tuna). Declines of vulnerable fish species could have a large effect on the California Current food web as well as the U.S. West Coast fishing communities, seafood industry, and state economies. This project provides key information to help scientists prioritize species for research and help managers identify species that may need protection.  

McClure, M.M., Haltuch, M.A., Willis-Norton, E., Hazen, E.L., Crozier, L.G., Jacox, M.G., Nelson, M.W., Andrews, K.S., Barnett, L.A., Berger, A.M., Beyer, S., Bizzarro, J., Boughton, D.A., Cope, J.M., Carr, M., Dewar, H., Dick, E., Dorval, E., Dunham, J.B., Gertseva, V., Greene, C.M., Gustafson, R.G., Hamel, O.S., Harvey, C.J., Henderson, M.J., Huff, D.D., Jordan, C.E., Kaplan, I.C., Lindley, S.T., Mantua, N.J., Matson, S.E., Monk, M.H., Moyle, P.B., Nicol, C., Pohl, J., Rykaczewski, R.R., Samhouri, J.F., Sogard, S., Tolimieri, N., Wallace, J., Wetzel, C., and Bograd, S.J., 2023, Vulnerability to climate change of managed stocks in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem: Frontiers in Marine Science, v. 10, 1103767, Online. 

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