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Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

During the second quarter of 2010, most of the fish stomach analysis conducted by Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) Program staff continued to focus on very detailed identification and enumeration of prey taxa. This information is being used to satisfy requirements of an essential fish habitat (EFH) project and a project dealing with flatfish prey selectivity in the eastern Bering Sea.

This information is also a critical component of a Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP) project to examine the functional feeding responses to predator, prey, and environmental conditions. Stomach samples were analyzed from eight predator species from the eastern Bering Sea (n = 2,374). Laboratory personnel also dried 797 tissue samples in preparation for stable isotope analysis. Fisheries observers returned 80 stomach samples from the eastern Bering Sea and 19 stomach samples from the Gulf of Alaska. In total, 17,265 records were added to the REEM food habits database.

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

Ecosystem Modeling

As a follow-up to previous workshops with field biologists to develop the FEAST (Forage/Euphausiid Abundance in Space and Time) model (part of the BSIERP project funded by the North Pacific Research Board), meetings with individual field biologists have been carried out to better incorporate their feedback into the model. The FEAST model code has now been substantially modified by REEM researcher Kerim Aydin to have an age-length structure (as opposed to length-based only) and to include all 12 fish species and catch removals; trial runs are being carried out for 1999.

REEM researcher Ivonne Ortiz gave a presentation of FEAST on behalf of Kerim Aydin at the PICES (North Pacific Marine Science Organization) Symposium on Climate Change Effects on Fish and Fisheries: Forecasting Impacts, Assessing Ecosystem Responses, and Evaluating Management Strategies. The symposium was held in Sendai, Japan. Aydin and Ortiz also have been collaborating with Henry Huntington (BSIERP/PEW Arctic Program) on "calorie-sheds" mapping based on subsistence harvest of marine species by native Alaskan communities. Ortiz, with coauthor AFSC scientist Elizabeth Logerwell, also submitted a paper to Marine and Coastal Fisheries as part of the special issue on Atka mackerel.

By Ivonne Ortiz and Kerim Aydin

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