AI Noteworthy 2022

Ecosystem Indicators

Noteworthy Topics (pdf)

We include information here that is deemed of relevance to ecosystem considerations of fisheries managers, but does not fit our typical indicator format. Information included here is often new, a one-time event, qualitative, or some other type of non-standard ecosystem indicator.

Bottom Trawl and Steller Sea Lion Surveys—update from 2018

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center completed the standard bottom trawl survey of the Aleutian Islands by the Groundfish Assessment Program of the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division. The survey is conducted biennially during even years and had not been conducted since 2018 due to COVID-19. In 2022, still dealing with COVID-specific travel and isolation considerations, the staff, contractors, and volunteers overcame a number of logistic hurdles to complete this summer’s survey. This is the only fish survey that covers the Aleutian Islands—420 bottom trawl stations along 1700 km from Unimak Pass to Stalemate Bank. The survey provides the groundfish indicators, which comprise one third of all the indicators for the ESR.

The Steller sea lion surveys are led by the Alaska Ecosystems Program of the Marine Mammal Laboratory. This is the only regular marine mammal survey conducted every other year in the Aleutians and had not been conducted since 2018 due to COVID-19. The survey counts pups (approx. 1 month old) and non-pups on terrestrial rookery and haulout sites and are conducted in late June through mid-July after approximately 95% of all pups are born. The survey provides one of four marine mammal indicators for the ESR.

We recognize the effort and commitment of all involved, and appreciate their contributions to this ESR.

Contributed by: Ivonne Ortiz
Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies,
University of Washington, Seattle, WA