Projecting future changes in distributions of pelagic fish species of Northeast Pacific shelf seas.

Marine life is being affected by changes in ocean conditions resulting from changes in climate and chemistry triggered by combustion of fossil fuels. Shifting spatial distributions of fish species is a major observed and predicted impact of these oceanographic changes, and such shifts may modify fish community structure considerably in particular locations and regions. We projected future range shifts of pelagic marine fishes of the Northeast Pacific shelf seas by 2050 relative to the present. We combined published data, expert knowledge, and pelagic fish survey data to predict current species distribution ranges of 28 fish species of the Northeast Pacific shelf seas that occur in the epipelagic zone and are well-represented in pelagic fish surveys. These represent a wide spectrum of sub-tropical to sub-polar species, with a wide range of life history characteristics.