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Fall 2010 Update: Summary of Conditions on the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem

  • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem during the first half of 2010 were moderate during winter, above average during spring, and exceptionally high in June.
  • The 2010 spring phytoplankton bloom was a short duration, high intensity bloom occurring over most of the shelf waters. In recent years, an intense spring bloom usually occurred in the Massachusetts Bay/Nantucket Shoals area; however, this did not happen in 2010.
  • Historically, the spring phytoplankton bloom on Georges Bank has started a week earlier than the bloom in the Gulf of Maine. However, in 2010, the spring phytoplankton bloom began first in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Results of a recent analysis of the NEFSC food habits database indicate a decadal pattern in the consumption of red hake by Atlantic cod.
  • Climate conditions in the Labrador Sea currently favor improved adult growth in Atlantic salmon. However, as long as climate continues to negatively affect survival during other parts of the salmon life cycle, salmon abundance will continue to decline.
  • The abundance of larval Atlantic herring on Georges Bank continues to be low based on data collected during plankton surveys.
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