Ecosystems Dynamics & Assessment

Current Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem -- Fall 2017 Update

See previous update here

Summary of Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem

  • Sea surface temperature (SST) in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem during the first half of 2017 continued to moderate compared to the record high temperatures that occurred in 2012; however, temperatures remain above the long-term mean based on both contemporary satellite remote-sensing data and ship-board measurements.

  • The spring bloom was late and poorly developed in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank areas and above average on the eastern Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf.

  • Moderate spring temperature conditions have delayed the spring thermal transition dates for 2017 compared to recent years.

  • The distribution of fish and invertebrate species sampled by the NEFSC bottom trawl survey has changed; utilizing data through the spring 2017 survey, kernel density plots and the assessments of species distributions both along- and across-shelf show mixed distribution movements over time.

  • Climate models suggest temperature condition will continue to be above average over the coming half year.
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(File Modified Dec. 11 2017)