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Status of Stocks & Multispecies Assessment Program

New Public Web Sites Allow Interactive Access to Fish Distribution Data

Observation is the heart of science. Fisheries researchers are keenly aware of the importance of the diligent collection and maintenance of good data sets. Two of the data sets heavily used by the Status of Stock and Multispecies Assessment (SSMA) sciscientists are Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering (RACE) survey data and Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis (FMA) observer data. Each year RACE scientists go to sea to collect trawl samples of fish abundance and species composition data. Meanwhile, observers monitor commercial fishing vessels for similar data.

In order to facilitate the understanding and use of these data sets, two new Web sites have been created, in cooperation with RACE and FMA staff:  RACE Groundfish Survey Data (, and Observer Data (

Both Web sites display fish distributions on interactive maps which allow the user to query the data by year and species. In addition to the maps, the Web sites provide data sets for download. Hopefully with better access to data collected by AFSC researchers, more people will be able to appreciate these valuable data.

By Angie Greig

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