Click on the Indicators below for More Information
California Current map

The California Current Ecosystem (CCE) is a dynamic environment in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Spanning nearly 3,000 km from southern British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico, the California Current encompasses the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, the coastal land-sea interface, and adjacent terrestrial watersheds along the West Coast. This highly productive coastal ecosystem is fueled by the seasonal upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water. These seasonal episodes of productivity support populations of krill, squid, sardines, and other species that are fed upon by larger fishes, seabirds and marine mammals. Broad-scale climate forcing related to El Niño / La Niña events and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation help determine how much upwelling will occur at points along the coast in a given year. These waters support some of the most productive fisheries in the world. Millions of dollars are paid directly to fishermen from commercial fishery landings, and over 100,000 jobs on and off the water are supported by the coast's seafood industry. Fisheries are an important part of California Current's economy, culture, and history and provide a wide variety of sustainable and local seafood.

Understanding the Gauge plots

The gauge plots that accompany the indicator time series are meant to reflect the current status of that ecosystem component at the regional or national level. The numerical scores are determined as the percentile rank of the average (mean) value of that indicator over the last five years of the time series, relative to the series as a whole. The values typically represent quantitative scores, with more desirable conditions in the darker blue. Thus, some gauges are "right-handed" with the higher values being in darker blue, whereas other gauges are "left-handed" with lower values being in darker blue (indicating that lower values are preferable). In some instances (e.g. climate measures), the scores represented are unitless and are presented as two-way gauges, indicating that either high or low scores are observed, implying neither higher nor lower values are necessarily preferred.

Lefthand Gauge
Left Hand Gauge
Righthand Gauge
Right Hand Gauge
Two-Way Gauge
Two-Way Gauge

Understanding the Time series plots

Time series plots show the changes in each indicator as a function of time, over the period 1980-present. Each plot also shows horizontal lines that indicate the median (middle) value of that indicator, as well as the 10th and 90th percentiles, each calculated for the entire period of measurement. Time series plots were only developed for datasets with at least 10 years of data. Two symbols located to the right of each plot describe how recent values of an indicator compare against the overall series. A black circle indicates whether the indicator values over the last five years are on average above the series 90th percentile (plus sign), below the 10th percentile (minus sign), or between those two values (solid circle). Beneath that an arrow reflects the trend of the indicator over the last five years; an increase or decrease greater than one standard deviation is reflected in upward or downward arrows respectively, while a change of less than one standard deviation is recorded by a left-right arrow.

Graph

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

During the last five years, the PDO indicator has trended downward, shifting from positive phase to negative phase in 2019.

graph of Pacific Decadal Oscillation 1980-2020

Values correspond to Index scores

Description of time series:

Positive PDO values typically mean cool surface water conditions in the interior of the North Pacific Ocean and warm surface waters along the North American Pacific Coast while negative PDO conditions typically mean warm surface water conditions in the interior to the North Pacific Ocean and cool surface waters along the North American Pacific Coast. During the last five years, the PDO indicator has trended downward, shifting from positive phase to negative phase in 2019.

 

Description of gauge:

The unitless two-way gauge depicts whether the average of the last 5 years of data for the climate indicator is above or below the median value of the entire time series. High or low gauge values mean recent values are unusually high or low relative to the entire data record.

 

Description of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO):

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a long-term pattern of Pacific climate variability. The extreme phases of this climatic condition are classified as warm or cool, based on deviations from average ocean temperature in the northeast and central North Pacific Ocean. When the PDO has a positive value, sea surface temperatures are below average (cool) in the interior North Pacific and warm along the Pacific Coast. When the PDO has a negative value, the climate patterns are reversed, with above average sea surface temperatures in the interior and sea surface temperatures below average along the North American coast. The PDO waxes and wanes; warm and cold phases may persist for decades. Major changes in northeast Pacific marine ecosystems have been correlated with phase changes in the PDO. Warm phases have seen enhanced coastal ocean biological productivity in Alaska and inhibited productivity off the west coast of the United States, while cold PDO phases have seen the opposite, north-south pattern of marine ecosystem productivity. We present data from the Pacific Islands, Alaska, and California Current regions.

 

Data Background:

Climate indicator data was accessed from the NOAA NCEI (https://www.NCEI.noaa.gov/teleconnections/pdo/data.dat). The data plotted are unitless and based on Sea Surface Temperature anomalies averaged across a given region

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (Oceanic Niño Index)

The ONI indicator changed from positive to negative during the summer of 2020, and has since shown a “double dip” La Niña.

graph of Oceanic Nino anomaly index 1980-2020

Values correspond to Index scores

Description of time series:

The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) is NOAA’s primary index for monitoring the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern. It is based on Sea Surface Temperature values in a particular part of the central equatorial Pacific, which scientists refer to as the Niño 3.4 region. Positive values of this indicator, greater than +0.5, indicate warm El Niño conditions, while negative values, less than -0.5, indicate cold La Niña conditions. The ONI shows a shift from El Nino to La Nina conditions in 2020, followed by a brief period of ENSO-neutral conditions, and then another dip to La Nina conditions in 2021. This pattern is sometimes called a “double dip” La Nina. 

Description of gauge:

The unitless two-way gauge depicts the most recent seasonal value for the ONI showing how far it is above or below the median value of the entire time series. High or low gauge values mean recent values are unusually high or low relative to the entire data record.

 

Description of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO):

El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a cyclical condition occurring across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean with worldwide effects on weather and climate. During an El Niño, surface waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific become warmer than average and the trade winds - blowing from east to west - greatly weaken. During a La Niña, surface waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific become much cooler, and the trade winds become much stronger. El Niños and La Niñas generally last about 6 months but can extend up to  2 years. The time between events is irregular, but generally varies between 2-7 years. To monitor ENSO conditions, NOAA operates a network of buoys, which measure temperature, currents, and winds in the equatorial Pacific. 

 

This climate pattern impacts people and ecosystems around the world. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere alter weather globally and can result in severe storms or mild weather, drought or flooding. Beyond “just” influencing the weather and ocean conditions, these changes can produce secondary results that influence food supplies and prices, forest fires and flooding, and create additional economic and political consequences. For example, along the west coast of the U.S., warm El Niño events are known to inhibit the delivery of nutrients from subsurface waters, suppressing local fisheries. El Niño events are typically associated with fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic while La Niña events typically result in greater numbers of Atlantic hurricanes.

 

Data Background:

ENSO ONI data was accessed from NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory (https://psl.noaa.gov/data/timeseries/monthly/ONI/). The data are plotted in degrees Celsius and represent Sea Surface Temperature anomalies averaged across the so-called Niño 3.4 region in the east-central tropical Pacific between 120°-170°W.

Sea Surface Temperature

The mean sea surface temperature between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current region was higher than 76% of the temperatures between 1985 and 2021.

California Current sea surface temperature

Sea surface temperature is defined as the average temperature of the top few millimeters of the ocean. Sea surface temperature monitoring tells us how the ocean and atmosphere interact, as well as providing fundamental data on the global climate system

 

Data Interpretation:

Time series: The time series shows the integrated sea surface temperature for the California Current region.  During the last five years there has been no notable trend and values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles.

Gauge: The gauge value of 76 indicates that the mean sea surface temperature between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current region was higher than 76% of the temperatures between 1985 and 2021.

 

Indicator and source information:

The SST product used for this analysis is the NOAA Coral Reef Watch CoralTemp v3.1 SST composited monthly (https://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/product/5km/index_5km_sst.php) accessed from CoastWatch (https://oceanwatch.pifsc.noaa.gov/erddap/griddap/CRW_sst_v3_1_monthly.g…). 

Great Lakes SST data were accessed from (https://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/glsea/glsea.html). 

The data are plotted in degrees Celsius. 

 

Data background and limitations:

The NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) daily global 5km Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product, also known as CoralTemp, shows the nighttime ocean temperature measured at the surface. The CoralTemp SST data product was developed from two, related reanalysis (reprocessed) SST products and a near real-time SST product. Monthly composites were used for this analysis.

 

Description of Sea Surface Temperature:

Sea surface temperature (SST) is defined as the temperature of the top few millimeters of the ocean. This temperature directly or indirectly  impacts the rate of all physical, chemical, and most biological processes occurring in the ocean. SST is globally monitored by sensors on satellites, buoys, ships, ocean reference stations, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other technologies. 

 

SST monitoring tells us how the ocean and atmosphere interact, as well as providing fundamental data on the global climate system. This information also aids us in weather prediction, i.e. identifying the onset of El Niño and La Niña cycles - multiyear shifts in atmospheric pressure and wind speeds. These shifts affect ocean circulation, global weather patterns, and marine ecosystems. SST anomalies have been linked to shifting marine resources. With warming temperatures, we observe the poleward movements of fish and other species. Temperature extremes—both ocean heatwaves and cold spells—have been linked to coral bleaching as well as fishery and aquaculture mortality. We present the annual average SST at the Large Marine Ecosystem scale in all regions.

Sea Level

The sea level between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current region was higher than 78% of the sea level between 1980 and 2021.

graph of coastal sea level for Northeast US from 1980-2020

Sea level varies due to the force of gravity, the Earth’s rotation and irregular features on the ocean floor. Other forces affecting sea levels include temperature, wind, ocean currents, tides, and other similar processes.

 

Description of time series:

The time series shows the relative sea level, water height as compared to nearby land level, for the California Current region.  During the last five years there has been no notable trend and values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 78 indicates that the sea level between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current region was higher than 78% of the sea level between 1980 and 2021.

 

Indicator and source information:

NOAA monitors sea levels using tide stations and satellite laser altimeters. Tide stations around the globe tell us what is happening at local levels, while satellite measurements provide us with the average height of the entire ocean. Taken together, data from these sources are fed into models that tell us how our ocean sea levels are changing over time. For this site, data from tide stations around the US were combined to create regionally averaged records of sea-level change since 1980. We present data for all regions.

 

Data background and limitations:

Sea level data presented here are measurements of relative sea level, water height as compared to nearby land level, from NOAA tide gauges that have >20 years of hourly data served through NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) Tides and Currents website. These local measurements are regionally averaged by taking the median value of all the qualifying stations within a region. The measurements are in meters and are relative to the year 2000.

Upwelling - 31N to 34N

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed a significant trend upward but the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and  90th percentiles.

3134 Upwelling

Values indicate the vertical transport of nitrate averaged from 31 to 34 degrees north (southern California Bight) from March to July of each Year.

 

Description of time series:

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed a significant trend upward but the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and  90th percentiles.

Indicator data and source information:

Values of BEUTI are provided by NMFS/SWFSC; detailed information about these indices can be found at https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti. Values represent March-July Means for each year.

Data source:

https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti

Upwelling - 35N to 40N

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed a significant trend upward but the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and 90th percentiles.

3540 Upwelling

Values indicate the vertical transport of nitrate averaged from 31 to 34 degrees north (southern California Bight) from March to July of each year.

 

Description of time series:

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed a significant trend upward but the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and 90th percentiles.

 

Indicator data and source information:

Values of BEUTI are provided by NMFS/SWFSC; detailed information about these indices can be found at https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti. Values represent March-July Means for each year.

Data source:

https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti

Upwelling - 41N to 47N

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed no significant trend and the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and  90th percentiles.

4147 Upwelling

Values indicate the vertical transport of nitrate averaged from 31 to 34 degrees north (southern California Bight) from March to July of each year.

 

Description of time series:

Between 2018 and 2022 BEUTI showed no significant trend and the average of the last 5 years remains between the 10th and  90th percentiles.

 

Indicator data and source information:

Values of BEUTI are provided by NMFS/SWFSC; detailed information about these indices can be found at https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti. Values represent March-July Means for each year.

Data source:

https://oceanview.pfeg.noaa.gov/products/upwelling/cutibeuti

Heatwave Intensity

Between 2016 and 2021 the average integrated degree day value was much higher than the median average integrated degree day value between 1982 and 2021.

CaliCurrent intensity

Values indicate cumulative annual heatwave intensity and duration in a region in degree-days

Description of Time Series: This time series shows the average integrated degree day value for the California Current region. During the last five years there has been no trend and values have remained between the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.

Description of Gauge: The gauge value of 78 indicates that between 2016 and 2021 the average integrated degree day value was much higher than the median average integrated degree day value between 1982 and 2021.

Gauge Values

  • 0 - 10: The five-year integrated degree day value is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year integrated degree day value is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year integrated degree day value is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year integrated degree day value average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year integrated degree day value is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year integrated degree day value is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year integrated degree day value is very high compared to the median value.

Indicator Source Information:

The marine heatwave data shown here are calculated by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information using Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) data. The NOAA 1/4° OISST is a long term Climate Data Record that incorporates observations from different platforms (satellites, ships, buoys and Argo floats) into a regular global grid. The dataset is interpolated to fill gaps on the grid and create a spatially complete map of sea surface temperature. Satellite and ship observations are referenced to buoys to compensate for platform differences and sensor biases.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

Heatwave metrics are calculated using OISST, a product that uses some forms of interpolation to fill data gaps. Heatwaves are defined by Hobday et al., 2016 as distinct events where SST anomaly reaches the 90th percentile in a pixel for at least 5 days, separated out by 3 or more days.

Heatwave Area

The gauge value of 83 indicates that between 2016 and 2021 the average five-year area fraction value is much higher than the median  area fraction between 1982 and 2021.

CCE

Values indicate monthly percent of an LME area affected by heatwave

Description of Time Series: This time series shows the monthly heatwave spatial coverage for the California Current Region. During the last five years there has been no significant trend and the five-year mean is within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.

Description of Gauge: The gauge value of 83 indicates that between 2016 and 2021 the average five-year area fraction value is much higher than the median  area fraction between 1982 and 2021.

 

Gauge Values

  • 0 - 10: The five-year area fraction value is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year area fraction value is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year area fraction value is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year area fraction value average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year area fraction value is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year area fraction value is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year area fraction value is very high compared to the median value.

Indicator Source Information:

The marine heatwave data shown here are calculated by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information using Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) data. The NOAA 1/4° OISST is a long term Climate Data Record that incorporates observations from different platforms (satellites, ships, buoys and Argo floats) into a regular global grid. The dataset is interpolated to fill gaps on the grid and create a spatially complete map of sea surface temperature. Satellite and ship observations are referenced to buoys to compensate for platform differences and sensor biases.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

Heatwave metrics are calculated using OISST, a product that uses some forms of interpolation to fill data gaps. Heatwaves are defined by Hobday et al., 2016 as distinct events where SST anomaly reaches the 90th percentile in a pixel for at least 5 days, separated out by 3 or more days

Chlorophyll-a

Between 2016 and 2021 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll a in the California Current region were lower than the long term median of all chlorophyll a concentration levels between 1998 and 2021.

Chlorophyll-A time series for California Current

Chlorophyll a, a pigment produced by phytoplankton, can be measured to determine the amount of phytoplankton present in water bodies. From a human perspective, high values of chlorophyll a can be good (abundance of nutritious diatoms as food for fish) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms that may cause respiratory distress for people), based on the associated phytoplankton species.

 

Data Interpretation:

Time series: This time series shows the average concentration levels of chlorophyll a for the  California Current region. During the last five years there has been a significant upward trend while values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.

Gauge: The gauge value of 42 indicates that between 2016 and 2021 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll a in the California Current region were lower than the long term median of all chlorophyll a concentration levels between 1998 and 2021.

 

Gauge values

0–10: Chlorophyll a was significantly lower than the long term median state.

10–25: Chlorophyll a was considerably lower than the long term median state.

25–50: Chlorophyll a was slightly lower than the long term median state.

50: Chlorophyll a was at the long term median state.

50–75: Chlorophyll a was slightly higher than the long term median state.

75–90: Chlorophyll a was considerably higher than the long term median state.

90–100: Chlorophyll a was significantly higher than the long term median state.

 

 

Indicator and source information:

Chlorophyll a concentration values for this indicator were obtained using the ESA OC-CCI product, a merged product from the European Spatial Agency (ESA) that is a validated, error-characterized, Essential Climate Variable (ECV) and climate data record (CDR) from satellite observations specifically developed for climate studies. The dataset (v5.0) is created by band shifting and bias-correcting SeaWiFS, MODIS, VIIRS and OLCI data to match MERIS data, merging the datasets and computing per-pixel uncertainty estimates. Source: https://climate.esa.int/en/projects/ocean-colour/news-and-events/news/ocean-colour-version-50-data-release/

https://docs.pml.space/share/s/okB2fOuPT7Cj2r4C5sppDg

Annual means for each LME for each year were calculated from the average of the LME 12 monthly means in that year on a pixel by pixel basis. Then for each year, the median average was taken spatially to yield one value per year per LME. 

 

Data background and limitations:

Satellite chlorophyll a data was extracted for each LME from the ESA OC-CCI v5.0 product. These 4 km mapped, monthly composited data were - averaged over each year to produce pixel by pixel annual composites, then the spatial median was calculated  for each LME, resulting in one value per year per LME.   This technique was used for each LME from North America and Hawaii. Phytoplankton concentrations are highly variable (spatially and temporally), largely driven by changing oceanographic conditions and seasonal variability.   

 

Zooplankton

Between 2015 and 2019 the average concentration of zooplankton biomass was higher than the median value of all zooplankton biomass concentration levels between 1980 through 2019.

Zooplankton time series California Current

Description of time series:

Between 2015 and 2019 the average concentration of zooplankton biomass showed no significant trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 62 indicates that between 2015 and 2019 the average concentration of zooplankton biomass was higher than the median value of all zooplankton biomass concentration levels between 1980 through 2019.

 

Gauge values

High values of zooplankton can be good (lots of lipid rich colder water species) or bad (lots of lipid poor warmer water species), depending on the region.

 

0 - 10: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is very low compared to the median value.

10 - 25: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is much lower than the median value.

25 - 50: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is lower than the median value.

 50: The five-year zooplankton biomass average equals the median value.

50 - 75: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is higher than the median value.

75 - 90: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is much higher than the median value.

90 - 100: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Description of Zooplankton:

Zooplankton are a diverse group of animals found in oceans, bays, and estuaries. By eating phytoplankton, and each other, zooplankton play a significant role in the transfer of materials and energy up the oceanic food web (e.g., fish, birds, marine mammals, humans.) Like phytoplankton, environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition and spatial distribution of zooplankton. These include the abundance and type of phytoplankton present in the water, as well as the water’s temperature, salinity, oxygen, and pH. Zooplankton can rapidly react to changes in their environment. For this reason monitoring the status of zooplankton is essential for detecting changes in, and evaluating the status of ocean ecosystems. We present the annual average total biovolume of zooplankton in the Alaska, California Current, Gulf of Mexico, Hawai'i-Pacific Islands and Northeast regions.

 

Indicator information

Zooplankton data for each region were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database, an integrated data set of quality-controlled, globally distributed plankton biomass and abundance data with common biomass units and served in a common electronic format with supporting documentation and access software. California Current specific data comes from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program: https://calcofi.org/

 

Data Background and Caveats:

Unlike previous years, all value are now standardized to "ml/m3". For example, EcoMon data units went from "ml/100m3" to just "ml/m3", but that did not affect the shape of the trends as it is a linear multiplicative factor. CalCOFI, however, went from "ml/m2" to "ml/m3", and the trend has changed noticeably.  It is now noisier and no clear trend.  One converts "ml/m2" to "ml/m3" by dividing by the towing depth (m).  That is a non-linear muplicative factor, so it can affect each data point and change the data shape.

Finally, a log10 value frequency histogram of the raw data values showed that 99.9% of the DV  data values were less than 15 ml/m3.   To reduce the impact of large outliers (i.e., due to a large jellyfish or an algal mat caught in the net), any DV value greater than 15 was capped at a value of just 15. Again, this would only affect < 0.1% of the data.  In some extreme cases, original DV values were over 100+ which greatly skewed the means and trends if not removed. This is actually standard practice.   CalCOFI offers both a "large" and "small" DV value (with the latter having large values removed), for example, and some programs automatically remove any plankter larger than the 5 cm length from the net sample before measuring the DV.

Zooplankton data for each region were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database, an integrated data set of quality-controlled, globally distributed plankton biomass and abundance data with common biomass units and served in a common electronic format with supporting documentation and access software. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html

It should be noted that these data are collected across multiple surveys and using multiple sampling approaches for the California Current LME.

Forage Fish - Southern CCE

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 or 2021 so there is no proper status or trend update. 

forage fish time series California Current

Values correspond to relative coolwater forage abundance index score

 

Description of time series:

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 or 2021 so there is no proper status or trend update. 

 

Description of gauge:

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 and 2021 so no gauge value is available

 

Gauge values

0 - 10: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is very low compared to the median value.

10 - 25: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is much lower than the median value.

25 - 50: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is lower than the median value.

50: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average equals the median value.

50 - 75: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is higher than the median value.

75 - 90: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is much higher than the median value.

90 - 100: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Indicator source information:

This indicator is produced by the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment team and includes the following species: 

  • larval anchovy (Engraulis mordax); 
  • coolwater larval fish (NA, multi-species); 
  • warmwater larval fish (NA, multi-species);
  • larval hake (Merluccius productus); 
  • larval market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens); 
  • larval pac jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus); 
  • larval sanddab (Citharichthys spp.); 
  • larval sardine (Sardinops sagax); 
  • larval shortbelly rockfish (Sebastes jordani)

 

Data background and caveats:

Units, time series, and species vary by region for this indicator, so no national score is provided. Best practices and caveats vary by region:

  • CCE

    • This indicator only includes data from surveys of the southern extent of the California Current region in the Spring. Index calculations are as follows: Larval fish data summed across all stations of the CalCOFI survey in spring (units are in number under 10 sq. m of surface area; ln(abundance+1)).For more information, review the California Current IEA Ecosystem Status Report.

Seabirds - Cassin's Auklet Spring Southern CCE

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 or 2021 so there is no proper status or trend update.

Seabird time series for California Current

Values indicate estimated seabird abundance using a relative population anomaly score

Description of the Time Series

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 or 2021 so there is no proper status or trend update.

 

Description of the Gauge:

Due to COVID-19 no data was collected in 2020 and 2021 so no gauge value is available

 

Overall Scores means the following:

  • 0 - 10: The five-year seabirds average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year seabirds average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year seabirds average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year seabirds average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year seabirds average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year seabirds average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year seabirds average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Indicator and Source Information:

Data are from CalCOFI surveys (https://calcofi.org/data/marine-ecosystem-data/seabirds/), courtesy of Dr. Bill Sydeman of the Farallon Institute (wsydeman@faralloninstitute.org) and displays information about Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)  observed in Spring. Data are shipboard counts, transformed as ln(bird density/km2 +1) and expressed as an anomaly of log density relative to the long-term mean.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

Data displayed here only represent the estimated density of one species for one season in one region of the California Current Ecosystem. Values for the last three years are exactly the same, as the number of individuals identified has been the same.

Overfished Stocks

Between 2017 and 2022 the number of overfished stocks shows no trend.

Overfished stocks time series for California Current

The x-axis represents years. The y-axis represents the number of fish stocks or fish populations that are deemed by NOAA as overfished. Overfished means the population of fish is too low. Therefore the population cannot support a large amount of fishing.

 

Description of time series:

The series shows the number of fish populations that have been listed as overfished since 2000. Between 2017 and 2022 the number of overfished stocks shows no trend.

 

Description of Overfished stocks:

An overfished stock is a population of fish that is too low. Therefore the population can not support a  large amount of fishing. A fish population can be “overfished” as the result of many factors, including overfishing, as well as habitat degradation, pollution, climate change, and disease. Stocks are determined to be overfished by NOAA as mandated in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, based on the results of stock assessments.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

High values for overfished stocks are bad, low numbers are good.

  • 0 - 10: The five-year overfished stock status average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year overfished stock status average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year overfished stock status average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year overfished stock status average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year overfished stock status average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year overfished stock status average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year overfished stock status average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data Source:

Data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Fishery Stock Status website. Stocks that met the criteria for overfished status were summed by year for each region.

Endangered Species Act Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals

Gauge and Trend Analyses were not appropriate for marine mammal data.

Number of threatened/endangered marine mammal stock from 1980-2019

Values Correspond to the Number of ESA Threatened or Endangered Species in a given region

Data Interpretation

Gauge and Trend Analyses were not appropriate for marine mammal data.

 

Description of Threatened and Endangered Marine Mammals (ESA):

NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the protection, conservation, and recovery of endangered and threatened marine and anadromous species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA aims to conserve these species and the ecosystems they depend on. Under the ESA, a species is considered endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, or threatened if it is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range See a species directory of all the threatened and endangered marine species under NOAA Fisheries jurisdiction, including marine mammals. 

Under the ESA, a species must be listed if it is threatened or endangered because of any of the following 5 factors:

1) Present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

2) Over-utilization of the species for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

3) Disease or predation;

4) Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and

5) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

The ESA requires that listing determinations be based solely on the best scientific and commercial information available; economic impacts are not considered in making species listing determinations and are prohibited under the ESA. There are two ways by which a species may come to be listed (or delisted) under the ESA:

- NOAA Fisheries receives a petition from a person or organization requesting that NOAA lists a species as threatened or endangered, reclassify a species, or delist a species.

- NOAA Fisheries voluntarily chooses to examine the status of a species by initiating a status review of a species.

 

Data Background and Caveats

NOAA Fisheries goes through required regulatory steps to list, reclassify, or delist a species under the ESA. For more information, see a step-by-step description of the ESA listing process. The listing process requires time and resources; as a result, the timing and number of listed marine species is not necessarily indicative of the actual number of currently endangered or threatened species and the exact timing of when these species became eligible to be listed under the ESA. Many marine species were initially listed when the ESA was passed in 1973; others have taken more time to be listed, and some have been reclassified or delisted since then.

Marine Mammal Protection Act Strategic/Depleted Marine Mammal Stocks

Gauge and Trend Analyses were not appropriate for marine mammal data.

Strategic/depleted marine mammals time series for California Current

Values correspond to the number of MMPA Strategic or Depleted Marine Mammal Species listed each year in each region

 

Data Interpretation

Gauge and Trend Analyses were not appropriate for marine mammal data.

 

Description of Marine Mammal Strategic and Depleted Stocks (MMPA):

A stock is defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as a group of marine mammals of the same species or smaller taxa in a common spatial arrangement, that interbreed when mature. See a list of the marine mammal stocks NOAA protects under the MMPA.

 

A strategic stock is defined by the MMPA as a marine mammal stock—

- For which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the potential biological removal level or PBR (defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population); 

- Which, based on the best available scientific information, is declining and is likely to be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) within the foreseeable future; or 

- Which is listed as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA, or is designated as depleted under the MMPA. 

 

A depleted stock is defined by the MMPA as any case in which—

- The Secretary of Commerce, after consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission and the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals established under MMPA title II, determines that a species or population stock is below its optimum sustainable population; 

- A State, to which authority for the conservation and management of a species or population stock is transferred under section 109, determines that such species or stock is below its optimum sustainable population; or 

- A species or population stock is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under the ESA. 

 

Data Background and Caveats

NOAA Fisheries prepares marine mammal stock assessment reports to track the status of marine mammal stocks. Some marine mammal stocks are thriving, while others are declining, and we often don’t know all the reasons behind a species or stock’s population trend. Because of this variability, it is difficult to indicate the state of an ecosystem or specific region using stock assessment data for marine mammal species that often range across multiple ecosystems and regions.

Marine Species Distribution - Latitude

Between 2013 and 2018 the average species latitudinal shift was much higher than the median average latitudinal shift between 2003 and 2018.

Calicurrent Latitude

Values indicate annual cumulative change in centroid across all species in a region in degrees N

 

Description of Time Series: Between 2013 and 2018 the average species latitudinal shift showed an increasing trend.

Description of Gauge: The gauge value of 81 indicates that between 2013 and 2018 the average species latitudinal shift was much higher than the median average latitudinal shift between 2003 and 2018.

 

Gauge Values

  • 0 - 10: The five-year latitudinal shift is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year latitudinal shift is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year latitudinal shift is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year latitudinal shift average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year latitudinal shift is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year latitudinal shift is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year latitudinal shift is very high compared to the median value.

 

Indicator Source Information:

This data provides important information for fisheries management including which species are caught where and at what depth. The scientists at DisMAP use this data to calculate each species’ centroid as the mean latitude and depth of catch in the survey, weighted by biomass. The centroid for each species is calculated for each year after standardizing the data to ensure that the measure is consistent over time despite changes in survey techniques and total area surveyed. 
 

Data Background and Caveats:

The regional and national marine species distributions shown here represent the average shift in the centroid of species caught in surveys conducted in each region. These species represent a wide range of habitats and species types. As species distributions respond to many environmental and biological factors, combining data from multiple diverse species allows for a more complete picture of the general trends in marine species distribution. In order to more easily track and display changes in these distributions, the first year is standardized to zero. Thus, the indicator represents relative change in distribution from the first survey year.

Marine Species Distribution - Depth

Between 2013 and 2018 the average species water column depth shift was higher than the median average water column depth shift between 2003 and 2018 with species moving deeper.

CalCurrent Depth

Values Indicate annual cumulative change in average species centroid depth in meters - for example, a value of -5 indicates the species centroid moving deeper by 5m.

 

Description of Time Series: Between 2013 and 2018 the average species water column depth shift shows no significant trend.

Description of Gauge: The gauge value of 38 indicates that between 2013 and 2018 the average species water column depth shift was higher than the median average water column depth shift between 2003 and 2018 with species moving deeper.

 

Gauge Values

  • 0 - 10: The five-year water column depth shift is very high compared to the median value with species moving deeper.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year water column depth shift is much higher than the median value with species moving deeper.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year water column depth shift is higher than the median value with species moving deeper.
  • 50: The five-year water column depth shift average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year water column depth shift is higher than the median value with species moving towards the surface.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year water column depth shift is much higher than the median value with species moving towards the surface.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year water column depth shift is very high compared to the median value with species moving towards the surface.

 

Indicator Source Information:

This data provides important information for fisheries management including which species are caught where and at what depth. The scientists at Ocean Adapt use this data to calculate each species’ centroid as the mean latitude and depth of catch in the survey, weighted by biomass. The centroid for each species is calculated for each year after standardizing the data to ensure that the measure is consistent over time despite changes in survey techniques and total area surveyed. 

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The regional and national marine species distributions shown here represent the average centroid of all species caught in every year of the surveys. These species represent a wide range of habitats and species types. As species distributions respond to many environmental and biological factors, combining data from multiple diverse species allows for a more complete picture of the general trends in marine species distribution. In order to more easily track and display changes in these distributions, the first year is standardized to zero. Thus, the indicator represents relative change in distribution from the first survey year.

Kelp Canopy Area

During the last five years, there has been no notable trend and values are within the 10th and 90th percentiles, albeit near the lower end of the time series.

Kelp

Kelp is an important ecological indicator and habitat-building species in coastal regions of the U.S. We present the annual kelp biomass, distribution, and canopy cover for the California Current region.

Graph Data Interpretation:

This time series shows the average giant kelp canopy area for the Southern California Current from 1984 to 2021. During the last five years, there has been no notable trend and values are within the 10th and 90th percentiles, albeit near the lower end of the time series.

Indicator and source information:

Kelp play a key role as biogenic habitat builders in the coastal temperate waters along the west coast of the U.S. from California to Alaska, and along the New England coast as well. This kelp data provides important information for resource managers as they provide habitat complexity, shoreline protection, play a key role in food web dynamics, and support coastal economies.

 

Kelp biomass (graph) and area of canopy cover (maps) data were obtained from the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (SBC LTER) Project’s Landsat satellite imagery.  Kelp canopy area data consists of two kelp species: bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera); whereas canopy biomass is giant kelp only. 

 

Data background and caveats:

The regional canopy cover and biomass shown here represent the spatial distribution, coverage, and biomass of kelp species. Canopy area estimates were derived from the fractional cover of kelp canopy which was determined from satellite surface reflectance.

 

Estimates of biomass (wet weight, kg) for giant kelp only, are derived from the relationship between giant kelp fractional cover determined from satellite surface reflectance and empirical measurements of giant kelp canopy biomass in long-term SBC LTER study plots obtained using SCUBA. 

 

Data and data documentation related to what is presented for this indicator can be obtained through the SBC LTER’s data portal: https://sbclter.msi.ucsb.edu/data/catalog/package/?package=knb-lter-sbc.74 

Coastal Population

The coastal population between 2014 and 2019 for the California Current was higher than 94% of the coastal population values between 1970 and 2019.

graph of coastal population for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Time Series

The 2014 – 2019 average coastal population in the California Current ecosystem was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.   

Gauge

The gauge value of 94 indicates that the coastal population between 2014 and 2019 for the California Current was higher than 94% of the coastal population values between 1970 and 2019.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

Coastal Tourism GDP

Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector GDP was much higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector GDP between 2006 and 2018.

graph of coastal GDP for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to percent change in the GDP of the Tourism Sector of Coastal Counties in US States that border a region

 

Description of Time Series: Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism GDP showed no significant trend.

Description of Gauge: The gauge value of 77 indicates that between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector GDP was much higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector GDP between 2006 and 2018.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal tourism GDP over the last 5 years of data was below any annual coastal tourism GDP level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual coastal tourism GDP value up until that point.

 

Description of Coastal Tourism:

U.S. coasts are host to a multitude of travel, tourism, and recreation activities. To manage our coasts, plan for development, and assess impacts as a result of coastal hazards including sea level rise, it is important to have baseline economic information. To accomplish this, we need indicators of the economic value of recreation and tourism. We present the annual total change in billions of dollars of goods and services (GDP), employment and annual wages provided from tourism industries in the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Hawaii-Pacific Islands, Southeast, and California Current regions. This data does not include industries located in U.S. territories. 

 

Indicator Source Information

Coastal tourism Gross Domestic Product is the total measure (in billions of 2012 dollars) of goods and services provided from various industries involved in tourism services and products along the coast. Data for Coastal Counties come from the US Census Bureau. This dataset represents US counties and independent cities which have at least one coastal border and select non-coastal counties and independent cities based on proximity to estuaries and other coastal counties. The dataset is built to support coastal and ocean planning and other activities pursuant to the Energy Policy Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Rivers and Harbors Act and the Submerged Lands Act.

 

Coastal Tourism Employment

Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector employment was higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector employment between 2006 and 2018.

CalCurrent Employment

Values correspond to percent change in the total Employment of the Tourism Sector of Coastal Counties in US States that border a region

 

Description of Time Series: Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county employment showed no significant trend.

Description of Gauge: Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector employment was higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector employment between 2006 and 2018.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal tourism employment over the last 5 years of data was below any annual coastal tourism employment level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual coastal tourism employment level up until that point.

 

Description of Coastal Tourism:

U.S. coasts are host to a multitude of travel, tourism, and recreation activities. To manage our coasts, plan for development, and assess impacts as a result of coastal hazards including sea level rise, it is important to have baseline economic information. To accomplish this, we need indicators of the economic value of recreation and tourism. We present the annual total change in billions of dollars of goods and services (GDP), employment and annual wages provided from tourism industries in the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Hawaii-Pacific Islands, Southeast, and California Current regions. This data does not include industries located in U.S. territories. 

 

Indicator Source Information:

Coastal tourism employment is the total measure of jobs in tourism industries along the coast.  Data for Coastal Counties come from the US Census Bureau. This dataset represents US counties and independent cities which have at least one coastal border and select non-coastal counties and independent cities based on proximity to estuaries and other coastal counties. The dataset is built to support coastal and ocean planning and other activities pursuant to the Energy Policy Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Rivers and Harbors Act and the Submerged Lands Act.

Coastal Tourism Wages

Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector real wage compensation was much higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector real wage compensation between 2006 and 2018.

CalCurrent Wage

Values correspond to percent change in the total real wage compensation of the Tourism Sector of Coastal Counties in US States that border a region

 

Description of Time Series: Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county real wage compensation showed no significant trend.

Description of Gauge: Between 2014 and 2018 the average change in coastal county tourism sector real wage compensation was much higher than the median change in coastal county tourism sector real wage compensation between 2006 and 2018.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal tourism wage compensation over the last 5 years of data was below any annual coastal tourism wage compensation level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual coastal tourism wage compensation level up until that point.

 

Description of Coastal Tourism:

U.S. coasts are host to a multitude of travel, tourism, and recreation activities. To manage our coasts, plan for development, and assess impacts as a result of coastal hazards including sea level rise, it is important to have baseline economic information. To accomplish this, we need indicators of the economic value of recreation and tourism. We present the annual total change in billions of dollars of goods and services (GDP), employment and annual wages provided from tourism industries in the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Hawaii-Pacific Islands, Southeast, and California Current regions. This data does not include industries located in U.S. territories. 

 

Indicator Source Information:

Coastal tourism wage is the measure of wages (nominal) paid to employees in tourism industries along the coast. Data for Coastal Counties come from the US Census Bureau. This dataset represents US counties and independent cities which have at least one coastal border and select non-coastal counties and independent cities based on proximity to estuaries and other coastal counties. The dataset is built to support coastal and ocean planning and other activities pursuant to the Energy Policy Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Rivers and Harbors Act and the Submerged Lands Act.

Coastal Employment

Coastal employment between 2014 and 2019 for the California Current was higher than 80% of all years between 2005 and 2019.

graph of coastal employment for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to total employment in all industries in the coastal counties of a given region

 

Time Series

Average coastal employment in the California Current ecosystem between 2014 and 2019 was similar to historical levels, with an increasing trend over that period.

Gauge

The gauge value of 80 indicates that coastal employment between 2014 and 2019 for the California Current was higher than 80% of all years between 2005 and 2019.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal employment level over the last 5 years of data was below any annual employment level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual employment level up until that point.

 

Data Source:

Coastal employment numbers were downloaded from the NOAA ENOW Explorer Tool, filtered to present only coastal county values using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. ENOW Explorer streamlines the task of obtaining and comparing economic data, both county and state, for the six sectors dependent on the ocean and Great Lakes: living resources, marine construction, marine transportation, offshore mineral resources, ship and boat building, and tourism and recreation. Data are derived from Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW), available on NOAA’s Digital Coast. Of note is that these data fail to include self-employed individuals. Coastal county employment numbers were then summed within each region for reporting purposes.

Commercial Fishery Landings

The mean annual commercial landings between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current was higher than 8% of all years between 1950 and 2020.

graph of commercial fishery landings for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to landings in millions of metric tons

 

Commercial Landings Time Series

Between 2016 and 2021, commercial landings from the California Current ecosystem were similar to historic levels, with no apparent trend.

Commercial Landings Gauge

The gauge value of 8 indicates that the mean annual commercial landings between 2016 and 2021 for the California Current was higher than 8% of all years between 1950 and 2021.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average revenue or landings over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

Landings are reported in pounds of round (live) weight for all species or groups except univalve and bivalve mollusks, such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops, which are reported as pounds of meats (excludes shell weight). Landings data may sometimes differ from state-reported landings due to our reporting of mollusks in meat weights rather than gallons, shell weight, or bushels. Also, NMFS includes some species such as kelp and oysters that are sometimes reported by state agricultural agencies and may not be included with state fishery agency landings data.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

All landings summaries will return only non confidential landing statistics. Federal statutes prohibit public disclosure of landings (or other information) that would allow identification of the data contributors and possibly put them at a competitive disadvantage. Most summarized landings are non confidential, but whenever confidential landings occur they have been combined with other landings and usually reported as "Withheld for Confidentiality" Total landings by state include confidential data and will be accurate, but landings reported by individual species may, in some instances, be misleading due to data confidentiality.

Landings data do not indicate the physical location of harvest but the location at which the landings either first crossed the dock or were reported from.

Many fishery products are gutted or otherwise processed while at sea and are landed in a product type other than round (whole) weight. Our data partners have standard conversion factors for the majority of the commonly caught species that convert their landing weights from any product type to whole weight. It is the whole weight that is displayed in our web site landing statistics. Caution should be exercised when using these statistics. An example of a potential problem is when landings statistics are used to monitor fishery quotas. In some situations, specific conversion factors may have been designated in fishery management plans or Federal rule making that differ from those historically used by NOAA Fisheries in reporting landings statistics.

The dollar value of the landings are ex-vessel (as paid to the fisherman at time of first sale) and are reported as nominal (current at the time of reporting) values. Users can use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Producer Price Index (PPI) to convert these nominal landing values into real (deflated) values.

Landings do not include aquaculture products except for clams, mussels and oysters.

Pacific landings summarized by state include an artificial “state” designation of “At-Sea Process, Pac.” This designation was assigned to landings consisting of primarily whiting caught in the EEZ off Washington and Oregon that were processed aboard large vessels while at sea. No Pacific state lists these fish on their trip tickets which are used to report state fishery landing, hence the at-sea processor designation was used to insure that they would be listed as a U.S. landing.

Landing summaries are compiled from data bases that overlap in time and geographic coverage, and come from both within and outside of NOAA Fisheries.

Commercial Fishing Revenue

The mean annual commercial revenue between 2015 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than 63% of all years between 1950 and 2020.

graph of commercial fishing revenue for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to real revenue is 2021 US Dollars

 

Commercial Revenue Time Series

Commercial revenue from the California Current ecosystem between 2015 and 2020 was not different than historical patterns, and there is a decreasing trend in values.

Commercial Revenue Gauge

The gauge value of 63 indicates that the mean annual commercial revenue between 2015 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than 63% of all years between 1950 and 2020.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average revenue or landings over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

Landings are reported in pounds of round (live) weight for all species or groups except univalve and bivalve mollusks, such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops, which are reported as pounds of meats (excludes shell weight). Landings data may sometimes differ from state-reported landings due to our reporting of mollusks in meat weights rather than gallons, shell weight, or bushels. Also, NMFS includes some species such as kelp and oysters that are sometimes reported by state agricultural agencies and may not be included with state fishery agency landings data.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

All landings summaries will return only non confidential landing statistics. Federal statutes prohibit public disclosure of landings (or other information) that would allow identification of the data contributors and possibly put them at a competitive disadvantage. Most summarized landings are non confidential, but whenever confidential landings occur they have been combined with other landings and usually reported as "Withheld for Confidentiality" Total landings by state include confidential data and will be accurate, but landings reported by individual species may, in some instances, be misleading due to data confidentiality.

Landings data do not indicate the physical location of harvest but the location at which the landings either first crossed the dock or were reported from.

Many fishery products are gutted or otherwise processed while at sea and are landed in a product type other than round (whole) weight. Our data partners have standard conversion factors for the majority of the commonly caught species that convert their landing weights from any product type to whole weight. It is the whole weight that is displayed in our web site landing statistics. Caution should be exercised when using these statistics. An example of a potential problem is when landings statistics are used to monitor fishery quotas. In some situations, specific conversion factors may have been designated in fishery management plans or Federal rule making that differ from those historically used by NOAA Fisheries in reporting landings statistics.

The dollar value of the landings are ex-vessel (as paid to the fisherman at time of first sale) and are reported as nominal (current at the time of reporting) values. Users can use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Producer Price Index (PPI) to convert these nominal landing values into real (deflated) values.

Landings do not include aquaculture products except for clams, mussels and oysters.

Pacific landings summarized by state include an artificial “state” designation of “At-Sea Process, Pac.” This designation was assigned to landings consisting of primarily whiting caught in the EEZ off Washington and Oregon that were processed aboard large vessels while at sea. No Pacific state lists these fish on their trip tickets which are used to report state fishery landing, hence the at-sea processor designation was used to insure that they would be listed as a U.S. landing.

Landing summaries are compiled from data bases that overlap in time and geographic coverage, and come from both within and outside of NOAA Fisheries. 

Recreational Fishing Effort

The recreational fishing effort between 2015 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than only 22% of the recreational fishing effort values between 1982 and 2020

graph of recreational fishing effort for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to cumulative number of angler trips

 

Description of time series:

Between 2015 and 2020, recreational fishing effort in California Current is similar to historic levels and shows no trend.  

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 22 indicates that the recreational fishing effort between 2015 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than only  22% of the recreational fishing effort values between 1982 and 2020

 

 Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average effort or harvest over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information

Recreational harvest and effort data pulled from National Summary Query. Units of data are in Effort in Angler Trips and Harvest in numbers of fish.The data from these queries is used by state, regional and federal fisheries scientists and managers to maintain healthy and sustainable fish stocks.

Data Background and Caveats:

To properly interpret this information, it is important to consider the following key points:

  • When comparing harvest estimates across an extended time series, note differences in sampling coverage through the years. Some estimates may not be comparable over long time series.
  • Changes may occur between preliminary and final estimates and year to year, meaning that the data may change when updated. Please review the Limitations and other sections on the Using the Data page from the source for more information.

Recreational fishing harvest

The recreational fishing harvest between 2016 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than 12% of the recreational fishing harvest values between 1982 and 2020

graph of recreational fishing effort for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to harvest in millions of fish

 

Description of time series:

Between 2016 and 2020, recreational harvest from California Current are around historic levels. There is no significant trend apparent. 

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 12 indicates that the recreational fishing harvest between 2016 and 2020 for the California Current was higher than 12% of the recreational fishing harvest values between 1982 and 2020

 

 Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average effort or harvest over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

 

Description of Recreational Fishing (Effort and Harvest):

U.S. saltwater recreational fishing is an important source of seafood, jobs, and recreation for millions of anglers and for-hire recreational businesses. Recreational fishing effort is measured as “Angler Trips”, which is the number of recreational fishing trips people go on. Recreational fishing harvest is the number of fish caught and brought to shore on recreational fishing trips. 

Recreational effort and harvest help us understand how recreational opportunities and seafood derived from our marine environment is changing over time. Fisheries managers use this data to set annual catch limits and fishing regulations, including season lengths, size, and daily catch limits. We present the total number of fish harvested and angler trips annually for all marine fish in all regions. 

 

Indicator Source Information

Recreational harvest and effort data pulled from National Summary Query. Units of data are in Effort in Angler Trips and Harvest in numbers of fish. The data from these queries is used by state, regional and federal fisheries scientists and managers to maintain healthy and sustainable fish stocks.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

To properly interpret this information, it is important to consider the following key points:

  • When comparing catch estimates across an extended time series, note differences in sampling coverage through the years. Some estimates may not be comparable over long time series.
  • Changes may occur between preliminary and final estimates and year to year, meaning that the data may change when updated. Please review the Limitations and other sections on the Using the Data page from the source for more information.

 

Commercial Fishing Engagement

The average annual commercial fishing engagement between 2014 and 2019 for California Current communities was higher than 55% of all years in the time series.

Graph of commercial fishing engagement index in the California Current region from 2009-2018

The x-axis on this time series represents years and the y-axis represents the percent of communities that are moderate to highly engaged in commercial fishing across California Current. Commercial fishing engagement is measured by the number permits, fish dealers, and vessel landings across California Current. 

 

Description of time series:

This time series shows the percent of communities moderately or highly engaged in commercial fishing in California Current from 2009 to 2019. Between 2014 and 2019 the percent of communities moderately or highly engaged in commercial fishing showed an upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 55 indicates that the average annual commercial fishing engagement between 2014 and 2019 for California Current communities was higher than 55% of all years in the time series.

 

Description of California Current Commercial Fishing Engagement:

Commercial fishing engagement is measured by the presence of fishing activity in coastal communities. The commercial engagement index is measured through permits, fish dealers, and vessel landings. A high rank within these indicates more engagement in fisheries. For details on both data sources and indicator development, please see https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/socioeconomics/social-indicator….

 

NOAA Monitors commercial fishing engagement to better understand the social and economic impacts of fishing policies and regulations on our nation’s vital fishing communities. This and other social indicators help assess a coastal community’s resilience. NOAA works with state and local partners to monitor these indicators. We present data from the Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, California Current, Alaska, and Hawaiian Island regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average percentage of communities engaged in commercial or recreational fishing over the last 5 years of data was below any annual engagement level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any engagement level up until that point.

 

 

Data Source:

Commercial fishing engagement data is from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s social indicator data portal:https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/data-and-tools/social-indicators/ The percentage of all communities in each region classified as medium, medium high, or highly engaged is presented for both recreational and commercial fishing.

Beach Closures

Between 2017 and 2021 the average number of beach closure days in the California Current region was higher than 68% of all values from 2000 to 2021.

graph of EPA-mandated beach closures for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Beach closures are the number of days when beach water quality is determined to be unsafe.

 

Data Interpretation:

Time series: This time series shows the average number of beach closure days in the California Current region from 2000 to 2021.  During the last five years, values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series and there is no trend up or down. 

Gauge: The gauge value of 68 indicates that between 2017 and 2021 the average number of beach closure days in the California Current region was higher than 68% of all values from 2000 to 2021.

 

Gauge values

0–10: The five-year beach closure days average is very low compared to the median value.

10–25: The five-year beach closure days average is much lower than the median value.

25–50: The five-year beach closure days average is lower than the median value.

50: The five-year beach closure days average equals the median value.

50–75: The five-year beach closure days average is higher than the median value.

75–90: The five-year beach closure days average is much higher than the median value.

90–100: The five-year beach closure days average is very high compared to the median. 

 

* gauge value is the percentile rank of the last five years based on the time series.

 

Indicator and source information:

Unsafe water quality may have significant impacts on human health, local economies, and the ecosystem. Beach water quality is determined by the concentration of bacteria in the water (either Enterococcus sp. or Escherichia coli). 

 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports coastal states, counties and tribes in monitoring beach water quality, and notifying the public when beaches must be closed. The information presented is from states, counties, and tribes that submit data to the EPA Beach Program reporting database (BEACON). Data obtained from the EPA BEACON 2.0 website have been provided to EPA by the coastal and Great Lakes states, tribes and territories that receive grants under the BEACH Act. Data were refined to closure, by state or territory, by year.

 

Data background and limitations:

Data compiled by states or territories are combined in regions defined as US Large Marine Ecosystems (LME). Changes in the number of beach closure days may be driven by changes in the number of beaches monitored under the BEACH Act versus by state and local municipalities and not by changes in water and/or air quality. Not all US beach closures are captured in this database, because not all beaches in a state or territory are monitored through the EPA BEACH Act. Data that were not identified to a water body or identified as inland water were not included. Data for beaches monitored by state and local municipalities are not included. 

Data from 2020 and beyond may be inflated by the Covid-19 pandemic, as there was no consistent way for states to report pandemic-related closures.

 

Billion-Dollar Disasters

The number of disasters over the past 5 years is substantially higher than historical levels of events, although there is no recent trend in the number of events.

graph of billion-dollar storm events for the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the number of events in a given year

 

Time Series

The number of billion dollar disasters within the California Current ecosystem is quite variable over time, fluctuating between zero and four disasters a year. The number of disasters over the past 5 years is substantially higher than historical levels of events, although there is no recent trend in the number of events.

Gauge

The gauge value of 90 indicates that the number of billion dollar disasters between 2017 and 2021 for the California Current was higher than 90% of all years between 1980 and 2021.

 

Extreme Gauge values

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average number of disasters over the last 5 years of data was below any annual level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual number of disasters up until that point. 

 

Indicator Source Information:

Billion dollar disaster event frequency data are taken from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The number of disasters within each region were summed for every year of available data. Although the number is the count of unique disaster events within a region, the same disaster can impact multiple regions, meaning a sum across regions will overestimate the unique number of disasters.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

Events are included if they are estimated to cause more than one billion U.S. dollars in direct losses. The cost estimates of these events are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are based on costs documented in several Federal and private-sector databases.

 

Resources

California Current IEA ESR

"We evaluate the status of the California Current Ecosystem by interpreting a variety of environmental, biological, economic, and social indicators. Current and historical indicator data are organized categorically, below, with a graphic showing the most recent 5-year trend and status relative to the long-term mean; the graphical interface allows for dynamic plotting and data download options. Many of these indicators are presented to the Pacific Fishery Management Council in annual status reports."

California Current IEA Ecosystem Status Report

California Current 2022 Ecosystem Status Report Infographic

A clickable infographic sharing key takeaways from the 2022 IEA program Ecosystem Status Report

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Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

Sanctuary condition reports are tools employed by NOAA to assess the condition and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Condition reports provide a standardized summary of resources in NOAA’s sanctuaries; drivers and pressures on those resources; current conditions and trends for resources and ecosystem services; and describe existing management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment.

The National Marine Sanctuary System Logo

Channel Islands NMS Clickable Infographic

Please explore the interactive ecosystem for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Navigate by clicking on icons representing major habitats, species of interest, major climate and ocean drivers, and key human activities. These interactive icons and silhouettes access status and trend data, images, web stories and other supporting content.

CINMS Clickable

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

Sanctuary condition reports are tools employed by NOAA to assess the condition and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Condition reports provide a standardized summary of resources in NOAA’s sanctuaries; drivers and pressures on those resources; current conditions and trends for resources and ecosystem services; and describe existing management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment.

The National Marine Sanctuary System Logo

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

Sanctuary condition reports are tools employed by NOAA to assess the condition and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Condition reports provide a standardized summary of resources in NOAA’s sanctuaries; drivers and pressures on those resources; current conditions and trends for resources and ecosystem services; and describe existing management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment.

The National Marine Sanctuary System Logo

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

Sanctuary condition reports are tools employed by NOAA to assess the condition and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Condition reports provide a standardized summary of resources in NOAA’s sanctuaries; drivers and pressures on those resources; current conditions and trends for resources and ecosystem services; and describe existing management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment.

The National Marine Sanctuary System Logo

Olympic Coast NMS Clickable Infographic

Explore the interactive ecosystem for Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary! Navigate by clicking on icons representing our six major habitats, many species of interest, major climate and ocean drivers affecting the Olympic Coast, and the human connections that commonly occur here. The interactive icons and silhouettes you’ll see on the following pages will allow you to access information about the Olympic Coast, including graphs and figures containing status and trend data, maps, images, web stories and other supporting content.

Olympic Clickable

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

Sanctuary condition reports are tools employed by NOAA to assess the condition and trends of national marine sanctuary resources. Condition reports provide a standardized summary of resources in NOAA’s sanctuaries; drivers and pressures on those resources; current conditions and trends for resources and ecosystem services; and describe existing management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment.

The National Marine Sanctuary System Logo

Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS)

The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) is the Regional Association of the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) in the Pacific Northwest, primarily Washington and Oregon. NANOOS has strong ties with the observing programs in Alaska and British Columbia through our common purpose and the occasional overlap of data and products.

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Central and Northern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS)

CeNCOOS is a US Government-accredited, regional source for high-quality data, integrated information, and diverse expertise to inform wise and sustainable use of the ocean off Central and Northern California. The CeNCOOS collaborative engages numerous investigators and technical experts, students, and institutions. Our systems and capabilities are evolving to provide real-time and forecasted information on harmful algal blooms, to advance integrated assessment tools for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and to include animal telemetry and other emerging technologies. Our data catalog continues to grow, facilitating access to over 1,000 observational and model data sets for the region, including a growing set of biogeochemical and biological data.

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Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)

The Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) is one of eleven regions that contributes to the national U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®). The regional observing systems work to collect, integrate, and deliver coastal and ocean observations in order to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment. The principal goal of SCCOOS is to provide observations and products to a diverse stakeholder community of managers and planners, operational decision makers, scientists, and the general public. As the regional observing system for Southern California, SCCOOS, has developed the capabilities to support short-term decision-making and long-term assessment by implementing and leveraging biological, chemical, and physical observations and models, many of which are available in near real-time.

The SCCOOS Logo

NOAA Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA): Regional Portals

The Environmental Response Management Application is a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool that assists emergency responders and environmental resource managers in dealing with incidents that may adversely impact the environment.

Southwest Fisheries Science Center Open Data Portal

The mission of NOAA Fisheries is to generate the scientific information and analysis necessary for the conservation, management, and utilization of the region's living marine resources.

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Northern California Current Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

The goal of this project is to extend the observational framework of US MBON to the Pacific Northwest - a region that presents unique hydrological, ecological, and socio-economic interactions with marine biodiversity, but also has a long history of ocean observing.

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Central California Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

This project will integrate remote sensing products, in situ data and models in support of long term needs of the NOAA California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (CCIEA), Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and State of California. The goal is to quantify relationships between climate, the ocean environment (physics, chemistry) and marine food webs (from microbes to fish and top predators), with the aim of providing predictive understanding of marine ecosystem responses to environmental change.

The MBON Logo

Southern California Bight Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

This project will continue the demonstration MBON in the Santa Barbara Channel, and expand it to the entire Southern California Bight (SCB) region. The focus on SCB allows the team to cover the complete spectrum of biodiversity from ecosystems to microbes due to the profusion of existing biological monitoring and research programs by our partners including government agencies, universities and NGOs. 

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Fisheries Social Indicators for Coastal Communities

NOAA Fisheries Community Social Vulnerability Indicators Toolbox is currently comprised of a suite of 14 statistically robust social, economic, and climate change indicators that uniquely characterize and evaluate a community’s vulnerability and resilience to disturbances (regulations, extreme weather, oil spills, sea level rise, etc.). The indicator map and graphing tool enables users to analyze both environmental justice as well as the climate vulnerability of over 4,600 coastal communities in 24 states. The social indicators are also routinely used for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and Executive Order 12898 (environmental justice) analyses.

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NOAA Digital Coast

The Digital Coast was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. The website provides not only coastal data, but also the tools, training, and information needed to make these data truly useful. Content comes from many sources, all of which are vetted by NOAA.

Data sets range from economic data to satellite imagery. The site contains visualization tools, predictive tools, and tools that make data easier to find and use. Training courses are available online or can be brought to the user’s location. Information is also organized by focus area or topic.

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Russian River Habitat Focus Area

The Russian River drains 1,485 square miles, including much of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, and is home to endangered coho and threatened Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. In fact, the river’s once vibrant coho and steelhead runs earned it a reputation as a premiere recreational fishing destination. But by 2000, coho salmon were virtually extinct from the river and the remaining habitats are badly degraded.

Russian

NOAA Western Region

NOAA has substantial capabilities working to address priorities and needs of our stakeholders and partners in the Western Region. The western collaboration region is the largest in terms of geography, number of employees, and NOAA facilities.  The region is home to federal and non-federal NOAA staff distributed across 92 cities in the West, and represents nearly a quarter of the total agency workforce.  Several NOAA centers, offices, and laboratories serve this region.  Most notably, NOAA's Western Regional Center in Seattle, WA, houses the largest variety of NOAA programs at a single location in the United States. It also employs the largest NOAA staff outside the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The region also boasts four Cooperative Institutes, a Regional Climate Center, two River Forecast Centers, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Weather Service Regional Headquarters, and Weather Forecast Offices in every state.

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DisMap

DisMAP provides access to distribution information for more than 800 marine species caught in NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl surveys in five regions in the United States (Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, West Coast, and Alaska). In this first version of the portal all species distribution products are derived from NOAA Fisheries regional bottom trawl survey data. They do not take into account alternative sources of fisheries data such as long-line, plankton, video, or fishery-dependent surveys. Because of this, distribution products are not available for the Pacific Islands or Caribbean regions at this time as those regions do not have bottom-trawl surveys; however incorporating these additional data sources is an area of interest for future releases.

DisMap