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Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

During the first quarter of 2010, the majority of fish stomachs analyzed by the Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) Program staff focused on very detailed identification and enumeration of the prey taxa. This information is being used to satisfy requirements of an essential fish habitat (EFH) project and a project dealing with flatfish prey selectivity in the eastern Bering Sea.

This information is also a critical component of a Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP) project to examine the functional feeding responses to predator, prey, and environmental conditions. Stomach samples were analyzed from eight predator species from the eastern Bering Sea (n = 1,660) and four predator species from the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands regions (n = 192).

Laboratory personnel dried 665 tissue samples in preparation for stable isotope analysis. Fisheries observers returned 71 stomach samples from the eastern Bering Sea. In total, 5,426 records were added to the REEM food habits database.

By Troy Buckley, Geoff Lang, Mei-Sun Yang, and Richard Hibpshman

Ecosystem Modeling

Two full-day workshops with field biologists and modelers were held at the AFSC in early and mid-February as part of the development of the BSIERP FEAST (Forage/Euphausiid Abundance in Space and Time) model. Workshop themes revolved around fish bioenergetics, growth, reproduction, and movement. The purpose of the workshops was to get direct feedback from BSIERP field researchers to fill in gaps and improve model parameters and processes using current published and unpublished results from studies conducted by BSIERP and AFSC researchers.

A total of 20-30 participants attended each of the workshops with some attendees joining remotely from California; Auke Bay Laboratories; and Corvallis, Oregon. The workshops provided an amicable forum for discussions and served as a starting point for new collaborations. Multiple meetings among individual researchers and teams have followed and will continue throughout model development.

By Ivonne Ortiz and Kerim Aydin

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