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EcoCast Project

Mission and vision

EcoCast is a fisheries sustainability tool that helps fishers and managers evaluate how to allocate fishing effort to maintain target fish catch while minimizing bycatch of protected or threatened species.

The mission of our project is to bring best-available science and analyses to support the ecological sustainability and economic viability for U.S. fisheries. With decades of experience in fisheries bycatch, fisheries mapping, oceanographic and species distribution analyses, our research team is working to support the development of innovative management approaches that meet ecological and economic management objectives and mandates.

EcoCast team

EcoCast is a consortium of scientists, managers, and members of the fishing industry. The EcoCast team is made up of scientists from several universities (San Diego State University, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Maryland, Old Dominion University, Stanford University) and NOAA Environmental Resource Division, working in direct collaboration with resource managers, fishing industry, and other stakeholders.

Project funding

Funding for the project has been provided by NASA EcoForecasting and Applied Science program (NNH12ZDA001N-ECOF) with additional support from California SeaGrant, NOAA’s Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program, NOAA’s West Coast Regional Office, NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment program, and Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions.

Dynamic Ocean Management

Dynamic ocean management is a new management approach that uses real-time and near real-time data to support management responses that can change in space and time, at scales relevant for animal movement and human use. Dynamic ocean management can use diverse analytical approaches (simple to complex), supports climate-resilient fisheries, and is already implemented in many oceans around the world.

How is dynamic ocean management different than traditional ocean management?

Traditional ocean management strategies tend to be static with boundaries that are fixed in space and time. However, static schemes must be large with significant opportunity costs to capture broad-scale oceanic processes for highly migratory species and can be rendered ineffective during extreme ocean events (e.g. species seasonal migrations or shifts of fishing fleets under anomalous ocean conditions). Dynamic ocean management works to do a better job of aligning scales of management to the scales of variability of the features and resources being managed by incorporating real-time information from satellite data, ocean monitoring arrays, bio-geochemical models, and crowd-sourced reports from ocean users into management recommendations that reflect current marine states.

Dynamic ocean management is at the interface of science and management. It captures the best-available science and directs it to meet the needs of resource managers and the fishing industry. What’s exciting about this research is that it puts science and data analytics to work, fundamentally changing the way oceans are managed.

Additional Information

  • Hazen et al. (2018) A dynamic ocean management tool to reduce bycatch and support sustainable fisheries. Science Advances. 4(5):eaar3001.
  • Briscoe et al. (2018) Characterizing habitat suitability for a central-place forager in a dynamic marine environment. Ecol Evol.. 8:2788–2801.
  • Scales et al. (2017) Fit to predict? Eco-informatics for predicting the catchability of a pelagic fish in near real time. Ecological Applications. 0:1-17.
  • Lewison et al. (2015) Dynamic Ocean Management: Identifying the Critical Ingredients of Dynamic Approaches to Ocean Resource Management. BioScience, 65:486–498.
  • Maxwell et al. (2015) Dynamic ocean management: Defining and conceptualizing real-time management of the ocean. Marine Policy. 58:42-50.
The information on this page may be used and redistributed freely, but is not intended for legal use. Neither the data contributors, EcoCast partner organizations, CoastWatch, NOAA SWFSC, nor any of their employees or contractors, makes any warranty, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information. Although it is distributed by the NOAA CoastWatch West Coast Regional Node, this product is solely the responsibility of the EcoCast project (.pdf) and is not associated with NOAA CoastWatch. For official information about EcoCast contact Elliott Hazen or Heather Welch.

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