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Scientific Collaborative Activities Between NMFS and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research

2006 Woods Hole Workshop participants

Participants of the 2006 Woods Hole Workshop. Back Row: Mike Fogarty, Tom Noji, Ken Drinkwater, Sonnich Meier, Harald Gjøsæter, Ashok Deshpande, Webjørn Melle, Lisa Hendrickson, Middle Row: William Stockhausen, Otte Bjelland, John Boreman, Bill Karp, Laurel Col, Jeep Rice. Bottom Row: Jason Link, Kjell Nedreaas, Erlend Moksness, Bernard A. Megrey, David Mountain, Jarle Klungsoyr.

A formal research cooperative agreement between the AFSC and the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research (IMR) has been in place since the mid 1980s and similarly with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the IMR since 2001. In March 2006, a workshop involving scientists from the three groups took place at the NEFSC Woods Hole Laboratory. The purpose of the workshop was to plan preliminary proposals for future scientific collaborations. Cooperative research topics included comparative ecosystem dynamics, effects of organic contaminants, cooperative (industry-agency) research, and provision of management advice. Following the Woods Hole Workshop, IMR scientists submitted two proposals to the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) to fund follow-up work.

The first was a proposal for a workshop on catch estimation (see below). This proposal focused on approaches taken for sampling catches and computing catch-at-age estimates for stock assessment in each of the three regions, Alaska, Northeast United States, and Norway. The second was for a workshop on Marine Ecosystems of Norway and the United States (MENU).

The MENU proposal was in scientific alignment and subsequently endorsed by the newly formed GLOBEC regional program Ecosystems of the Subarctic Seas (ESSAS) because it included two of the ESSAS regional subarctic ecosystems (Bering Sea and Barents Sea.) The two NRC workshop proposals were funded. The two workshops were held in Norway during the first quarter of 2007 and are summarized below.

Also at the 2006 Woods Hole meeting, a proposal was written and submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to hold a scientific session, jointly sponsored by the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), at the September 2007 Annual Science Conference in Helsinki, Finland titled “Comparative Marine Ecosystem Structure and Function: Descriptors and Characteristics.” The ICES proposal was accepted. Many of the MENU workshop ideas were developed into several abstracts which will be submitted to the ICES Symposia. The Journal of Marine Systems is willing to consider publishing a collection of papers from the ICES Symposia as a special issue after passing peer-review.

- The MENU Workshop and Comparative Studies of Marine Ecosystems:

2007 MENU Workshop participants

Participants of the 2007 MENU Workshop. Front row (left to right): Georg Skaret, Cecile Årnes, Maureen Taylor, Jannike Falk-Petersen, William Stockhausen, Harald Gjøsæter, Webjørn Melle, Jon Hare, Bernard A. Megrey. Back row: Svein Sundby, George Hunt, Sarah Gaichas, Kevin Friedland, Franz Mueter, William Overholtz, Jason Link, Ken Drinkwater, Are Dommasnes, Arild Folkvord.

The Norway-U.S. MENU workshop was held outside of Bergen, Norway, at the Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun, during 7-9 March 2007. The goals of workshop were to 1) compare ecosystems of Norway and the United States (the eastern Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank, and the Norwegian/Barents Sea --two of the four ecosystem are ESSAS regions), 2) identify methods and metrics to identify physical and biological similarities and differences between ecosystems, 3) propose presentations for the ICES session, 4) organize data and analyses, and 4) prepare ICES abstracts.

Preliminary meeting outcomes include plans to submit nine MENU abstracts to the ICES Helsinki meeting and developing five papers for the Journal of Marine Systems.

These new developments offer exciting opportunities for researchers working in Pacific Northwest ecosystems (i.e., AFSC, ESSAS, BEST, NPRB, GLOBEC) to collaborate with our northwest Atlantic and European partners. We look forward to new future developments.

- Bergen Catch Estimation Workshop:

Scientists and managers from the AFSC and the NMFS Alaska Regional Office (AKR) met with counterparts from the NEFSC, the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), IMR and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries (NDF) in Bergen 29 January–2 February 2007 to discuss several topics related to collection of fishery-dependent data and catch estimation.

Participants included: Otte Bjelland, Jennifer Cahalan (AFSC contractor), Steve Cadrin (UMASS), Dorothy Dankel (IMR), Åge Fotland (IMR), Hallvard Godøy (IMR), Dana Hanselman(AFSC), Kristin Helle (IMR), David Hirst (IMR contractor), Jim Ianelli (AFSC), Bill Karp (AFSC), Chris Legault (NEFSC), David Martin (UMASS), Jennifer Mondragon (AKR), Kjell Nedreaas (IMR), Modulf Oderik (NDF), Hector Peña (IMR), Michael Pennington (IMR), David Potter (NEFSC), Paul Rago (NEFSC), Per Sandberg (NDF), Anne Sæverud (IMR), Susan Wigley (NEFSC), and Sondre Aanes (IMR).

Components of the workshop included a review of how observer programs are used for management (e.g., inseason aspects), how “reference fleets” provide insight on fishery patterns, technological advances in catch-estimation resolution (e.g., through the use of vessel-monitoring systems), the sampling design of observer programs, and statistical estimates of quantities (e.g., catch-at-age) commonly used in stock assessment analysis.

This project provided the opportunity to exchange ideas and approaches and served to highlight areas where assessments would be best served by improvements in each of these three regions (Alaska, Northeast United States, and Norway). Opportunities for future collaborations were discussed, and it was agreed that six scientific papers on related topics would be coauthored by participants during the next 2 years. It was further agreed that the United States and Norway would collaborate in developing a proposal for an ICES Symposium on the Collection and Interpretation of Fishery Dependent Data to be held in 2010. By Bernard Megrey, James Ianelli, and Bill Karp

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