RESOURCE ECOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEM MODELING PROGRAM:
Fish Stomach Collection and Laboratory Analysis
Laboratory analysis was performed on 1,796 groundfish stomachs from the
eastern Bering Sea and 743 from the Gulf of Alaska. A total of 5,610 stomachs
were collected from the Bering Sea and 3,397 from the Gulf of Alaska from
By Troy Buckley.
PICES Ecosystem Status Report Workshop
Pat Livingston, Bern Megrey, and Franz Mueter attended the North Pacific
Marine Science Organization (PICES) international workshop in Victoria,
British Columbia, 25-27 August. The workshop was organized as part of an
effort to develop a North Pacific Ecosystem Status Report. Pat Livingston
is overseeing the Bering Sea chapter of the report and Bern Megrey and
Franz Mueter are providing the Gulf of Alaska chapter.
Participants from both sides of the North Pacific gathered to present information
about the status of various ecosystems around the North Pacific and to
discuss ways to standardize the content and structure of the report.
The main purposes of the workshop were to:
review the regional chapter drafts of the North Pacific Ecosystem Status
develop a synthesis/summary of ecosystem status for the North Pacific Ocean
based on these regional reviews
discuss use of this information to develop Marine life in the North Pacific:
the known, unknown, and unknowable for the Census of Marine Life.
By Pat Livingston.
Ecosystem Assessment Strategy
A draft strategy for providing an ecosystem assessment of the Bering Sea-Aleutian
Islands and Gulf of Alaska regions was developed by scientists in the Resource
Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program. The strategy, modeled after the
framework used for ecosystem impact assessment in the draft Programmatic
Groundfish Fisheries EIS (PSEIS), provides a systematic way of evaluating
ecosystem effects of fishing with respect to predator/prey relationships,
ecosystem energy flow, and various measures of diversity. The strategy
is intended to complete the intent of the Ecosystem Considerations section
that has become a regular accompaniment to the North Pacific Fishery Management
Councils (NPFMC) Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) documents.
While the Ecosystem Considerations section provides historical status and
trend information for a variety of ecosystem components, the Ecosystem
Assessment is intended to provide advice on possible future trends in the
ecosystem, using total allowable catch (TAC) scenarios of the annual TAC-setting
Environmental Assessment. The Ecosystem Assessment will allow us to fulfill
TAC Environmental Assessment requirements to annually assess environmental
consequences of TACs on the ecosystem. It also helps meet the guidelines
of National Standard 2- scientific information in the Magnuson-Stevens
Act, that specify that the SAFE report should contain information on past,
present, and possible future conditions of the stocks, marine ecosystems,
and fisheries being managed. Lastly, the assessment will provide guidance on possible
aggregate effects of fishing that are not captured under single species assessments.
Multispecies and ecosystem models are proposed as tools to provide advice
on possible future trends in various ecosystem indicators. Three models
are envisioned for future use in this assessment. The first is a multispecies
bycatch model employed in the PSEIS, which provides single-species population
projections for groundfish targets along with prohibited species bycatch
and optimal yield constraints presently operating in the Bering Sea-Aleutian
Island (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries to provide
realistic future fishing trajectories on target species and indicators
of the types and amounts of bycatch. Multispecies virtual population analysis
and forecasting models provide an age-structured predator/prey assessment
on target groundfish species and ecosystem mass balance and biomass dynamics
models provide a more holistic view of possible future trends in ecosystem
components. Finally, climate is an important aspect of our prediction
of the future state of ecosystems. Work is ongoing among NOAA components
to develop more real-time assessment of changing climate states and responses
of organisms to those changes. These are incorporated into our ecosystem
considerations section of the SAFE and will require discussion about how
to incorporate climate into our assessment of possible future climate effects
on North Pacific ecosystems.
By Pat Livingston.
Climate and Food Web Models Workshop
A 3-day workshop on the detection of climate anomalies in marine food web
models was hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada,
16-18 September, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Participants discussed
methodology for comparing modeling efforts from North Pacific regions from
Northern California through British Columbia and Alaska, with the purpose
of using these models to detect Pacific-wide climate signatures in fish
production patterns. This project will be pursued through at least one
follow-up meeting in Spring 2004 and may additionally be expanded to include
food web research from the western Pacific through the participation of
Asian members of PICES.
By Kerim Aydin.
quarterly July-Sept 2003 sidebar
Auke Bay Lab