Climate Vulnerability Assessment Proposed for Fisheries

Purple urchins.\Photo by Alex Derr.
Purple urchins.\Photo by Alex Derr.

Oregon Shores sponsored an online talk on Sept. 8 by Mark Carr on “Preparing for a Changing Ocean.”  The presentation was part of a series of talks by experts from around the country that we have sponsored during our 50th anniversary year, as we look ahead to the next 50 years of coastal conservation. 

Dr. Carr’s talk prompted enthusiastic response, with many requests to see the recorded version, go here:  https://youtu.be/uahm7_1IYeo.

It will soon be posted on our YouTube channel, which also includes recordings of other webinars that may be of interest.

To see the paper on which Mark Carr based his talk, go here.  

Dr. Carr’s talk dealt with “climate vulnerability assessments,” and a new framework he and fellow researchers have developed to assist in managing fisheries as the nearshore marine environment changes due to climate change and other impacts.  The scientists are seeking a means of accounting for the multiplicity of climate-related stressors of marine ecosystems, how they interrelate, and how they affect human communities.  As a case history, he focused on the red urchin fishery, and how it has been affected by a warmer ocean, loss of kelp, and the rapid population growth of purple urchins.

Mark Carr is based at the Long Marine Lab of the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he is a professor in and chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and an expert on coastal and marine ecosystems.  His lab group focuses on understanding the structure and dynamics of populations and communities of nearshore marine organisms and their ecosystems. The underlying themes of this research are two-fold; firstly, to further our conceptual understanding of marine populations and communities by conducting empirical studies motivated by the evolving theory for these systems, and secondly, to apply these concepts to fisheries and conservation problems in innovative ways. More recently, Carr’s lab has developed a broader ecosystem-wide interest in kelp forest ecosystems as part of its role in the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO, a branch of which is also based at Oregon State University). His lab has a growing interest in coastal salmonid ecology, and is exploring ways to apply such basic ecological information to the conservation of marine species and management of their fisheries.