Climate Change Monitoring for Marine Fisheries and Habitats

Climate change has had a growing influence on how we manage fisheries. DMF’s Fisheries Habitat Program implements the agency’s climate change strategy, including the collection of seafloor temperature data.


Climate change is expected to alter Massachusetts’ coastal areas,  including its ecosystems, fisheries habitats, and coastal communities. Potential changes include:

  • Increases in water temperature
  • Increases in frequency and intensity of regional precipitation
  • Decreases in salinity and ocean pH levels

Minor changes to the climate can threaten biodiversity and the health of our fisheries. In response to these challenges, DMF develops climate based fisheries management strategies. These strategies address ecosystem changes resulting from climate change to improve fisheries sustainability.

DMF also maintains data of the seafloor temperature that is accessible to the public. To request this data, contact Mark Rousseau at

Additional Resources

Ocean Acidification

In 2019, the Massachusetts Ocean Acidification Commission was launched to better understand the potential impacts of ocean acidification on Massachusetts coastal communities and industries with the goal of drafting a report and proposing legislation. DMF served on the Ocean Acidification Commission that was comprised of 17 members including lawmakers, gubernatorial appointees, representatives of environmental or community groups, fishermen, those in the aquaculture and lobster industries, and scientists specializing in coastal and ocean acidification. The Commission is fully described at its website: 

The MA OA Commission released their “Report on the Ocean Acidification Crisis in MA" (linked below) in February 2021. 


Additional Resources

Contact for Climate Change Monitoring for Marine Fisheries and Habitats


DMF Staff Directory View 


(508) 990-0449


836 S Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744

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