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EMA: Northeastern Bering Sea Ecosystem Assessment

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SE Bering Sea Ecosystem Assessment
NE Bering Sea Ecosystem Assessment
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EMA scientists sorting catch from Northeastern Bering Sea
Survey codend being brought to sorting table in NE Bering Sea

Pelagic trawl (surface trawl and mid water acoustics) and oceanographic data collected during the Northern Bering Sea survey are used to improve understanding of the pelagic ecosystem and assist efforts aimed at reducing uncertainty in harvest management of fishery resources important to Alaskan commercial and subsistence fisheries. The survey addresses how species distribution and marine food webs are altered by climate and seasonal loss of Arctic sea ice in the Bering Sea. The survey also provides key information on the distribution and abundance of forage fish species (capelin, herring, sandlance, and rainbow smelt), allowing scientists to understand how forage fish population dynamics affect the food chain to apex predators and harvested fish populations that prey on forage fish. Additionally, the survey the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission with important information on the status of juvenile salmon populations in the Bering Sea.

Recent closures of commercial and sport fisheries and restricted subsistence harvests of Yukon River salmon have underscored the need for additional information on the production dynamics and for reduced uncertainty in pre-season assessments of Yukon River salmon. Juvenile salmon data are currently used as an early indicator of brood-year strength in order to reduce uncertainty in the pre-season assessment of Yukon River salmon stocks by the Yukon River Panel and the Yukon River Joint Technical Committee.

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.

Related Links:
Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association
Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund
Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Fund

Lisa Eisner and Jim Murphy
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
(907) 789-6602 and (907) 789-6651 and

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