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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-336

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Alaska Regional Action Plan for the Southeastern Bering Sea: NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy

Executive Summary

While temperatures are anticipated to increase globally under future climate change, the largest anticipated changes are expected for the Arctic including the Bering Sea (Alaska). Such changes may have cascading impacts on regional food-webs. The southeastern Bering Sea supports some of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the world. High numbers of seabirds and marine mammals also are found in the region and subsistence harvests are a critical resource for coastal communities. Climate-related changes in ocean and coastal ecosystems likely will impact the zooplankton, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals of the southeastern Bering Sea, as well as the people, businesses, and human communities that depend on them. Actionable information on when and how climate change will impact Alaska is needed.

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) acquires and distributes the scientific information necessary to fulfill the mission of the National Marine Fisheries Service, which supports responsible stewardship of the Nation’s living marine resources and their habitats (NOAA Fisheries Mission), and collaborates with the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) to do so. The enabling legislation for the NOAA Fisheries mission is found in the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To continue to fulfill this mission in the face of climate change, the AFSC seeks to acquire information and develop science-based strategies for sustaining fisheries, healthy ecosystems, protected species, and coastal communities in a changing climate.



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