Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA)

MISSION: The Climate and Fisheries Adaptation Program (CAFA) supports targeted research to promote sustainable management, adaptation and resilience of the nation’s valuable fish stocks and fisheries-dependent communities in a changing climate. By bringing together NOAA scientists with the academic community, other federal agency scientists, non-governmental organizations and key fisheries stakeholders, CAFA addresses priority needs for information and tools identified in the 2015 NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy, Fisheries Regional Action Plans, U.S. National Climate Assessment, and other sources.

ISSUE: Healthy and productive fisheries are a significant component of the U.S. economy. Commercial and recreational marine fisheries generate over $200 billion in economic activity and support more than 1.8 million jobs annually. (FEUS 2016) Reliant and sustainable fisheries also support working waterfronts and coastal communities, provide opportunities for commerce, are tied to rich cultures, and help meet the growing demand for seafood across the U.S. and the world.

Climate variability and change are having increasing impacts on fish stocks, fisheries, and marine ecosystems in the U.S., and the impacts are expected to significantly increase with continued climate change. The changing climate and ocean conditions (e.g. warming oceans, extreme events, changing currents and stratification, coastal precipitation, coastal inundation, etc.) directly and indirectly affect marine ecosystems including the abundance, distribution, and productivity of fish stocks that support economically important fisheries. Sustainable fisheries management requires an improved understanding of how climate, fishing, and other stressors interact to affect fish stocks (including their habitats and prey), fisheries and fishing‐dependent communities.

PROGRAM HISTORY: The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Climate Program Office, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Science and Technology launched a partnership in 2014 to advance understanding of climate‐related impacts on fish or other species that support economically important fisheries and fishing communities. The partnership originated through the former Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) Program and in 2021 was renamed the Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA) Program as part of the OAR/CPO Adaptation Sciences Program.


Contact Us

Jennifer Dopkowski
NOAA Research

Climate Program Office
P: (301) 734-1261

Roger Griffis
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Science and Technology

P: (301) 427-8134


1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.