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MESA Archives: Ocean Carrying Capacity (OCC)

(PLEASE NOTE: These web pages are for archival purposes only and are no longer maintained. For current information on this topic at the AFSC visit the Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment program. )

ABL Home
Marine Ecology & Stock Assessment
Ocean Carrying Capacity
Bering Sea (BASIS)
Gulf of Alaska (GLOBEC)
Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis (EMA)
Program Activities:
Data Sets
Reports & Activities
Surface trawl operations aboard the F/V Great Pacific
Surface trawl operations aboard the F/V Great Pacific


The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Ocean Carrying Capacity (OCC) Program at the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute supports NOAA Fisheries role in the stewardship and management of marine resources through fisheries oceanography investigations in support of both stock and habitat assessments. Early research provided information needed by the International Pacific Fisheries Commission (INPFC) and the member nations of the Pacific Salmon Treaty to manage international fisheries in the North Pacific and salmon fisheries in transboundary rivers. OCC continues to support Pacific Salmon Treaty research and much of the ocean research is now coordinated through the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC), the successor of INPFC, and addresses broader ecosystem objectives of the North Pacific through studies of the epipelagic ecosystem. OCC provides information through fisheries oceanography field surveys, stock identification and genetic stock structure of salmon and forage fish species, ecosystem monitoring and retrospective growth studies of salmon, and laboratory experiments on the behavioral and physiological ecology of salmon.

Age-0 Pollock
Age-0 walleye pollock
Adult sandlance

Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS) research is a cooperative research effort by member nations of NPAFC to study the epipelagic ecosystem of the Bering Sea. BASIS was developed by NPAFC scientists to improve our understanding of salmon ecology in the Bering Sea and to clarify mechanisms linking recent changes in ocean conditions with salmon resources in the Bering Sea. OCC is responsible for BASIS research in U.S. waters.

Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) research by OCC provides information on the behavioral and physiological ecology of juvenile salmon in the Gulf of Alaska. Research evaluates the interaction between temporal-spatial distribution of juvenile salmon, growth performance, environmental conditions, and stage-specific survival which are critical factors in the magnitude, location, and timing of their marine mortality.

Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis (EMA) research by OCC provides indicators for ecosystem dynamics, assessment, and forecasting by monitoring age and size of salmon populations and through retrospective growth studies on historic collections of salmon scales. Research is focused on constructing, analyzing, and linking time series of salmon age, size, growth, survival, and roduction with time series of oceanographic conditions and climate.

Stock Identification and Assessment (SIDA) research by OCC provides information used in stock-specific fisheries management and in ocean ecology research through the genetic identification of stocks to region or country of origin and determination of population and stock utilization of ocean rearing areas. Research is primarily focused on genetic stock structure of Pacific salmon, rockfish, and forage fish species. Products include peer reviewed manuscripts, and technical reports; in addition to, software such as stock composition estimation programs.

For further information please contact:
Ed Farley:
Jeff Guyon:
Lisa Eisner:
Jim Murphy:
Jamal Moss:
Michele Masuda:

Adult Chum Salmon

Adult Chum Salmon

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