Spring plankton blooms, which usually peak in April in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank, were well below average in 2013, according to NOAA Fisheries. Meanwhile, a strong spring bloom occurred along the coast of Long Island, which is unusual.
The below-average plankton bloom in the Gulf of Maine appears to have adversely affected zooplankton populations that are critical to the base of the food chain.
Sea surface temperatures for the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) remained high during the first half of 2013, but were lower than the record high levels that occurred in 2012, according to NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).
Overall, sea surface temperatures declined more than 1 degree C, making 2013 the third warmest year in the time series. The results are reported in the Center's latest Ecosystem Advisory.
source: NOAA Fisheries