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Summer 2014
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Representatives of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Republic of Korea Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) convened the 13th joint working group meeting of the NOAA-MOF Joint Project Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Integrated Coastal and Ocean Resources Management (JPA) on 26-27 August 2014 in Busan, Korea. At the meeting, NOAA and MOF identified cooperative activities of mutual interest to be pursued by four panels in 2015. The fisheries panel is one of the four panels. Korea will fund the fisheries panel to enable scientists to meet and run their projects while NOAA will contribute in-kind services.

The fisheries panel approved 14 projects under three research themes:  1) surveys and monitoring; 2) climate change, stock assessments, and ecosystems research; and 3) applications of JPA research. The specific projects are i) observer training; ii) fisher collected ocean data; iii) survey gear technology; iv) habitat research; v) extension of  “NOWCAST” – a model for tracking recruitment of fishery species; vi) snow crab assessment; vii) integrated fisheries risk analysis method for ecosystems and management strategy evaluation; viii) CPUE standardization; ix) stock structure of Pacific cod; x) status of pollock stock off Korea; xi) fishing impacts of fishing on corals and vulnerable marine ecosystems; xii) training on fisheries management practices; xii) Arctic research; and xiv) fisheries panel meeting.

By Loh-Lee Low

U.S.-Russia Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Fisheries

Pursuant to the 1988 Agreement on Mutual Fisheries Relations, representatives of Russia and the United States conducted the 25th Session of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) on Fisheries in Vladivostok, Russia, on 10-12 September 2014. The meeting was lead by the U.S. Department of State and the Fisheries Agency of the Russian Federation.

Science issues discussed included:

  • Status of Bering Sea pollock and groundfish stocks. Both parties updated their exchanges on status of the stocks.

  • Walruses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to conduct a joint survey with Russia in 2015 to collect skin biopsy samples from Pacific walruses.

  • Status of Steller sea lion stocks, interactions with fisheries, and protection measures around rookeries and haul-outs. Tthe parties updated their exchanges of information on these issues.

  • Ice seal research. The parties agreed to undertake synoptic aerial surveys of ice seals in the Chukchi Sea in spring 2016.

  • Status of crab species: Opilio, Blue and Red King Crab, and Chionoecetes baird. The parties updated their exchanges on status of the stocks.

  • Status of joint research planning, data exchanges, and surveys. This year (2014) marks the third year of a U.S.-Russia coordinated survey on pollock in the transboundary area of the northern Bering Sea. We agreed on survey gear and techniques and exchange of survey data. This ICC forum enables the NOAA ship Oscar Dyson to survey in the Russian EEZ and the Russian R/V TINRO to survey in the U.S. EEZ. Going forward, TINRO and the AFSC agreed to analyze the data from these surveys jointly and continued to coordinate their surveys.

  • Potential opportunities for cooperative research and data exchange relating to fisheries, habitat, and ecosystem processes in the Chukchi and Northern Bering Sea: the parties discussed potential opportunities for cooperative research in the near future that may include ice seal surveys, walrus research, a general data sharing plan, and expansion of the salmon-integrated ecosystem BASIS survey into the Chukchi Sea. Russia has agreed to send their survey planners to the AFSC  in Seattle in early 2015 to plan a cooperative program with the United States under this ICC arrangement.

  • Special topic for discussion. Both parties agreed that salmon would be the focus of discussion at the 2015 ICC meeting.

By Loh-Lee Low

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