NOAA Fisheries is launching a new tool to better track the location and movement of marine fish in U.S. waters. The Distribution Mapping and Analysis Portal reveals that the ranges of many marine species are shifting, expanding and contracting in response to changing ocean conditions. The interactive website will improve data sharing and collaboration, facilitate decision-making about fishery management and science and increase overall knowledge of species distribution for stock assessments.
The portal allows users to select a species of interest and visually examine changes in the distribution over time by looking at both location maps as well as graphs of key indicators of a species distribution (such as change in latitude, depth and range limits). The user can also choose to view changes in distributions at the regional level as an indicator of broader community level changes.
This new tool was developed in collaboration with the Global Change Ecology and Evolution Lab at Rutgers University to enhance the ability of NOAA Fisheries and its management partners to identify, plan for and respond to climate-driven changes now and in the future. Additionally, increased access to species distribution information and model results from across the nation will help foster a “community of practice” among scientists which can help advance the field, and also provide a useful tool for outreach and education regarding changing fish and invertebrate distributions.
Launch the Mapping Portal