During the first weeks of the new administration, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008 on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad. This order initiated efforts within 60 days to collect input from fishermen, regional ocean councils, fishery management councils, scientists, and other stakeholders on how to make fisheries and protected resources more resilient to climate change, including changes in management and conservation measures, and improvements in science, monitoring, and cooperative research. This EO was a call to action for fisheries stakeholders to engage with federal agencies, including NOAA, to address the threats of climate change.
The Network responded earlier this month with a detailed letter to the administration. Viewing sustainable fisheries as coupled systems that require abundant stocks and healthy ecosystems as well as robust and healthy coastal communities, the Network urged the administration to focus on four key issue areas to increase resilience:
- Incorporate the best available climate science into fishery management
- Support and strengthen our fishing communities and working waterfronts
- Strengthen bycatch provisions
- Establish and support a robust new strategic planning process
The Network recognizes we have much work ahead of us to fully address the causes and impacts of global climate change, and we have laid out our position on the most crucial first steps toward securing more resilient ocean fisheries. With new and updated management tools and approaches that incorporate climate science and support healthy oceans and coastal communities, we can work together to strengthen U.S. fisheries for the good of all. We encourage our partners and readers to support efforts to address climate impacts as we continue to engage the Biden administration on its promising climate resilience initiative.