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Southeastern Bering Sea Ecosystem Assessment (EMA)

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Sorting age 0 Pollock
Sorting Age 0 pollock and Pacific cod. Photo courtesy of Sandra Parker-Stetter

The Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment Program’s overall goal is to improve and reduce uncertainty in stock assessment models of commercially important fish species through the collection of observations of fish and oceanography. Observations for fish include abundance, size, distribution, diet and energetic status. Oceanographic observations include conductivity-temperature at depth, nutrient levels, and estimates of the composition and biomass of phytoplankton and zooplankton (includes jellyfish) species. These fish and oceanographic observations are used to connect climate change and variability in large marine ecosystems to early marine survival of commercially important fish species in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Arctic.

The fishery and oceanographic survey in the southeastern Bering Sea combines surface trawl and midwater acoustics to collect indices on fish size, relative abundance, energetic status, distribution, and diet. For example, these surveys highlight the connection between chum salmon populations and bycatch in the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. Oceanographic indices include conductivity-temperature at depth, nutrient levels, zooplankton (including jelly fish) and phytoplankton biomass and species assemblage. The NOAA Fisheries Strategic Plan calls for predictive models of the consequences of climate change on ecosystems through monitoring changes in coastal and marine ecosystems, conducting research on climate-ecosystem linkages, and incorporating climate information into physical-biological models. The goal for this assessment is to develop models relating these fisheries-oceanographic indices to productivity of commercially important fish species (such as pollock, cod, herring, western Alaska salmon) in the southeastern Bering Sea. .

EMA sampling in Bering Sea
Eastern Bering Sea sample stations

The survey leverages AFSC resources through partnerships in regional research programs such as NPRB, FATE, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission's Bering Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS), the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, and the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Fund.

Data from these surveys have been used in NPRB, Bering Sea Ecosystem Integrated Research Program research activities, reports, and publications.


Related Links:
REFM Stock Assessments
BSIERP/NPRB
Bering Sea groundfish fisheries
NPRB
FATE
Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association
Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund
Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Fund


Contact:
Ed Farley
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
(907) 789-6085
Ed.Farley@noaa.gov


Featured Research, Publications, Posters, Reports, and Activities

  • Climate impacts on eastern Bering Sea food webs: A synthesis of new data and an assessment of the Oscillating Control Hypothesis.
    Hunt, G.L., K.O. Coyle, L. Eisner, E.V. Farley, R. Heintz, F. Mueter, J.M. Napp, J.E. Overland, P.H. Ressler, S. Salo, and P.J. Stabeno. Climate impacts on eastern Bering Sea food webs: A synthesis of new data and an assessment of the Oscillating Control Hypothesis. In press. ICES Journal of Marine Science.

  • Spatial distribution, energetic status and food habits of eastern Bering Sea age-0 walleye pollock.
    Moss, J.H., E.V. Farley, A.M. Feldman, and J. Ianelli. Spatial distribution, energetic status and food habits of eastern Bering Sea age-0 walleye pollock. 2009. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138:497-5 05.

  • Growth rate potential of juvenile sockeye salmon in warmer and cooler years on the eastern Bering Sea shelf.
    Farley, E.V., Jr., M. Trudel. Growth rate potential of juvenile sockeye salmon in warmer and cooler years on the eastern Bering Sea shelf. 2009. Journal of Marine Biology 2009:640215.

  • A major ecosystem shift in the northern Bering Sea.
    Grebmeier, J.M., J.E. Overland, S.E. Moore, E.V. Farley, Jr., E.C. Carmack, L.W. Cooper, K.E. Frey, J.H. Helle, F.A. McLaughlin, S.L. McNutt. A major ecosystem shift in the northern Bering Sea. 2006. Science 311:1461 – 1464.

  • Marine fishes, birds and mammals as sentinels of ecosystem variability and reorganization in the Pacific Arctic region
    MOORE, S. E., E. A. LOGERWELL, L. EISNER, E. V. FARLEY, Jr., L. A. HARWOOD, K. KULETZ, J. LOVVORN, J. R. MURPHY, and L. T. QUAKENBUSH. 2014. Marine fishes, birds and mammals as sentinels of ecosystem variability and reorganization in the Pacific Arctic region, p. 337-392. In J. M. Grebmeier and W. Maslowski (editors), The Pacific Arctic region: Ecosystem status and trends in a rapidly changing environment. Springer, Dordrecht. 
     
  • A multivariate analysis of observed and modeled biophysical variability on the Bering Sea shelf: Multidecadal hindcasts (1970–2009) and forecasts (2010–2040).
    HERMANN, A. J., G. A. GIBSON, N. A. BOND, E. N. CURCHITSER, K. HEDSTROM, W. CHENG, M. WANG, P. J. STABENO, L. EISNER, and K. D. CIECIEL. 2013. A multivariate analysis of observed and modeled biophysical variability on the Bering Sea shelf: Multidecadal hindcasts (1970–2009) and forecasts (2010–2040). Deep-Sea Res. II 94, 121-139. 
     
  • Were Record Pink Salmon Returns to Alaska in 2013 a Consequence of Favorable 2012 Ocean Conditions, and Can Forecasting Tools be Developed to Better Account for Survival at Sea?
    By:  JOSEPH A. ORSI, EMILY A. FERGUSSON, ANDREW W. PISTON, RICHARD E. BRENNER, STEVEN C. HEINL
    Conference:  Salmon Ocean Ecology Meeting, Santa Cruz, CA, Mar 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 1.46 MB)   Online.

     
  • Changes in Jellyfish (Chrysaora melanaster) Biomass and Distribution in Reponse to Anaomalous Climate Shifts in the Bering Sea
    By:  KRISTIN CIECIEL, ED FARLEY
    Conference:  North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) Open Science Meeting, Kohala Coast, Big Island, HI, Apr 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 2.04 MB)   Online.

     


See the publications and posters databases for additional listings.

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