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EMA: Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Assessment

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Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Assessment
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Gulf of Alaska coastline
Gulf of Alaska coastline

The Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is a highly productive marine system that is greatly influenced by freshwater input and wind. This subarctic Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) supports commercial fisheries for crab, salmon, and numerous species of groundfish. The Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Project is an integrated ecosystem research program administered by the North Pacific Research Board designed to determine and quantify key processes that control marine fish, sea bird, and marine mammal populations (Figure 1). NOAA is conducting a series of comprehensive, process-based, fisheries independent survey assessment that measures a suite of biophysical variables to advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. An interdisciplinary team of scientists has been assembled to investigate the following hypotheses:

  1. The primary determinant of year-class strength for marine groundfishes in the GOA is survival of early life stages. Larval and juvenile fish survival as affected by a daunting variety of factors such as offshore and nearshore habitat quality, larval and juvenile transport, and settlement into suitable demersal habitat that vary spatially, seasonally, and interannually.
  2. The physical and biological mechanisms that determine annual survival of juvenile groundfishes and forage fishes differ between the eastern and western GOA regions.
  3. Interactions among species (including predation and competition) are influenced by the abundance and distribution of individual species and by their habitat requirements, which vary with life stage and season.

Semiannual fisheries oceanographic surveys during summer and fall in the eastern and central GOA support salmon ecology studies, jellyfish research, bioenergetics and fish condition investigations, bioacoustics, larval and juvenile fish ecology, and habitat quality assessments.

Related Links:
Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Project
North Pacific Research Board

NPRB Gulf of Alaska Project videos on YouTube

off-site link to YouTube
Science at Sea
off-site link to YouTube
Seabirds and Groundfish
off-site link to YouTube
Coastal Nurseries and
off-site link to YouTube
Integrated Ecosystem
Research Program

Jamal Moss
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
(907) 789-6609

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