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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 Arctic Subarctic Integrated 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.


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.

  • Proceedings of the 25th Northeast Pacific Pink and Chum Salmon Workshop 2012.
    FERGUSSON, E., J. ORSI, and S. HEINL. 2013. Proceedings of the 25th Northeast Pacific Pink and Chum Salmon Workshop 2012. AFSC Processed Rep. 2013-03, 35 p. Alaska Fish. Sci. Cent., NOAA, Natl. Mar. Fish. Serv., Auke Bay Laboratories, 17109 Point Lena Loop Road, Juneau AK 99801. (.pdf, 632 KB).  Online.
     
  • Emergence of the Arctic Themisto libellula (Amphipoda: Hyperiidae) on the southeastern Bering Sea shelf as a result of the recent cooling, and its potential impact on the pelagic food web.
    PINCHUK, A. I., K. O. COYLE, E. V. FARLEY, and H. M. RENN. 2013. Emergence of the Arctic Themisto libellula (Amphipoda: Hyperiidae) on the southeastern Bering Sea shelf as a result of the recent cooling, and its potential impact on the pelagic food web. ICES J. Mar. Sci.70:1244-1254. 
     
  • Interannual Variations of Age-0 Arrowtooth Flounder in the Gulf of Alaska
    By:  CASEY DEBENHAM
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2014
    (2014 poster, .pdf, 1.25 MB)   Online.

     
  • Summer Energetic Condition of Juvenile Sockeye Salmon in the Gulf of Alaska
    By:  WYATT FOURNIER
    Conference:  NPAFC Workshop on Migration and Survival Mechanisms of Juvenile Salmon and Steelhead…, Honolulu, HI, Apr 2013
    (2013 poster, .pdf, 598 KB)   Online.

     


See the publications and posters databases for additional listings.

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