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SSMA Staff at the PICES FUTURE Open Science Meeting

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Four Center scientists participated in the PICES FUTURE Open Science Meeting held 13-18 April  2014 on the Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii. It was a well-attended international meeting with participants from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, the United States and United Kingdom. The goal of the meeting was to give PICES a chance to review progress on its integrated science program FUTURE (Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems) and to identify gaps and mechanisms to fill them. The overarching question addressed by FUTURE is “What is the future of the North Pacific given current and expected pressures?”

Anne Hollowed co-convened two workshops at the FUTURE meeting. One was on “Climate change and ecosystem-based management of living marine resources: Appraising and advancing key modelling tools,” which she convened with Tim Essington (University of Washington) and Myron Peck (University of Hamburg). The workshop was convened to discuss state-of-the-art tools for 1) calculating biological reference points under changing climate conditions that recognize that equilibrium states no longer  apply;  2)  assessing  the relative ecological and economic costs and tradeoffs of different ecosystem-based management scenarios; and 3) estimating the vulnerability and stability of ecosystems (and their key components) required to make informed, ecosystem-based fisheries management decisions. The workshop provided a critical review of modelling tools available for fisheries management needs and an understanding of what advancements are required to address climate-driven changes in ecosystem dynamics.

The second workshop that Anne convened was “An international workshop for ecosystem projection model inter-comparison and assessment of climate change impacts on global fish and fisheries,” with AFSC scientists Kerim Aydin and Kirstin Holsman. This workshop brought together earth system modelers, oceanographers, fisheries stock assessment scientists, and ecosystem modelers to discuss the current and near-term future status of Earth System Models and their potential contributions to projecting climate change impacts on living marine resources. This workshop provided much-needed information needed for sustainable fisheries management in the future. The group plans to hold two more workshops in March of 2015 and 2016 and submit results on model projections for selected species groups in a scientific journal in 2019.

Steve Barbeaux presented a talk in the Theme Session “Challenges in communicating science and engaging the public”. The title of his talk, co-authored with Jae Bong Lee was “Broadening stakeholder involvement in fisheries research through the development of cooperative research initiatives in Korean (and Alaskan) fisheries.” The talk was about the results of a 2013 exchange of experts from the Republic  of Korea and the United States to evaluate possible cooperative research projects involving Korean and Alaskan fisheries. Steve described five possible cooperative research projects identified by the Korean and U.S.experts for implementation in Korea and five projects either currently implemented or planned for 2015. He also discussed the cultural and technological aides and barriers to the possible success of these projects. The Theme Session was well attended with approximately 30 participants and generated discussion on the projects during the working group discussion session afterwards on how to confront challenges in communicating science and engaging the public.

Paul Spencer presented a talk in the Theme Session “Strategies for ecosystem management in a changing climate.” The title of his talk was “How might environmentally-driven changes in the distribution of arrowtooth flounder affect predation upon eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock?” His co-authors were Nicholas A. Bond (PMEL), Anne B. Hollowed, Stephani Zador,  Kirstin Holsman,  and Franz J. Mueter (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Paul and his colleagues found that information on the spatial distributions of predator and prey populations allows for spatially-resolved estimates of predation mortality within age-structured stock assessment models. They also found that the impact of future climate conditions upon arrowtooth flounder and walleye pollock spatial distributions are expected to have a relatively minor effect on the predation of walleye pollock by arrowtooth flounder. However, higher levels of predation could occur if the spatial distribution of arrowtooth flounder moves northward into the northwest middle eastern Bering Sea shelf.

Libby Logerwell is chair of the PICES Fishery Sciences Committee and a member of the FUTURE Scientific Steering Committee. She did not give a presentation at the FUTURE Open Science Meeting but did participate in the PICES Intersession Science Board meeting where a review of the FUTURE program was discussed.


By Libby Logerwell


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