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Resource Ecology & Fisheries Management (REFM) Division

AFSC Quarterly
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Apr-May-June 2009
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Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling Program

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

During the second quarter of 2009, the AFSC's summer groundfish trawl surveys began in the eastern Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) Program staff collected stomach samples and analyzed stomach contents at sea for continued monitoring of predatory impacts on commercially important species and for food web energy flow analyses. In addition, stomach and tissue samples were collected for various ongoing essential fish habitat (EFH), NPRB, and BSIERP studies.

Summaries of the number of samples collected and analyzed at sea during these groundfish surveys will be reported next quarter after the completion of the surveys. Laboratory analysis of the stomach contents of 709 walleye pollock was completed during the second quarter of 2009. In total, 5,640 records were added to the REEM food habits database.

By Troy Buckley, Geoff Lang, and Mei-Sun Yang

Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment

Sarah Gaichas attended and co-organized the symposium "Conservation in Working Seascapes: Bridging the Gap Between Fishery Management and Biodiversity Conservation" at the International Marine Conservation Congress, a meeting sponsored by the Society for Conservation Biology’s Marine Section held in Washington, D.C., on 19-24 May 2009.

The purpose of the international meeting was to bring conservation and fishery scientists, managers, policymakers, and the public together to "put conservation science into practice" with respect to ecosystem-based management and global climate change, in particular to jointly address fishery and biodiversity conservation objectives.

Dr. Gaichas' symposium was well attended and generated considerable discussion among the audience, the invited speakers, and the organizers. A summary publication is in preparation as a result of this symposium.

By Sarah Gaichas

Ecosystem Modeling

REEM modelers hosted a workshop of the NPRB's BSIERP Vertical Integrated Modeling Project in Seattle, on 1-3 June 2009. The workshop focused on continued development of the Forage and Euphausiid Abundance in Space and Time (FEAST) model, a 3-D model of the Bering Sea on a 10-km resolution, which will model the coupling between physics, plankton, forage fish, and predatory fish; the coupling between fish and plankton is bidirectional and includes feedback between these components.

In the workshop, participants were able to complete a preliminary 1-dimensional (depth over time) version of the fully-coupled model and produce results comparing the relative growth and consumption of fish in a cold year (1999) versus a warm year (2004).

A schedule and milestones for the development of the 3-D version of the model over the next 6 months was finalized. The milestones include performing comparative studies between model results and field observations that were conducted as part of the field component of BSIERP.

Results of this workshop were presented at the annual meeting of the Resource Modeling Association and at the third international Global Ecosystems (GLOBEC) meeting in late June.

By Kerim Aydin and Ivonne Ortiz

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