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Resource Ecology & Fisheries Management (REFM) Division

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Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling Program

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

During the fourth quarter of 2008, fisheries observers collected 363 stomach samples from the eastern Bering Sea. During the Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS) cruise, AFSC scientists analyzed 1,323 stomach samples at sea.

In the laboratory, Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) Program staff analyzed 1,307 stomach samples from the eastern Bering Sea and 509 stomach samples from the Gulf of Alaska. In total, 1,106 records were added to the REEM food habits database.

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

Ecosystem Indicators

figure 1, see caption
Figure 1.  Click image to enlarge.

REEM staff completed the Ecosystem Considerations appendix to the stock assessment and fisheries evaluation (SAFE) report to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) and presented the appendix to the NPFMC Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska Plan Teams, the Scientific and Statistical Committee, and the Advisory Panel.

For this year's report, updates were made to 43 indicators, and four new contributions (on Arctic sea ice, groundfish condition, Gulf of Alaska lingcod bycatch, and Gulf of Alaska continuous plankton recorder data) were added. In addition, as a step towards developing integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) for the region, an ecosystem assessment was included following the Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) model.

As part of this effort, indicator trends were summarized in a graphical format, and combined indicators by species group were added (Fig. 1). This represents a substantial improvement in the form and format of the Ecosystem Assessment.

By Kerim Aydin and Jennifer Boldt

Ecosystem Modeling and Resource Ecology

Three REEM Program members gave presentations and co-chaired working groups at the first annual principal investigators' meeting of the North Pacific Research Board's Bering Sea Integrated Research Program (BSIERP).

This program is a 5-year, $51 million collaboration between the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation, with more than 90 investigators examining the present and potential future of the Bering Sea ecosystem.

REEM Program researchers are coordinating and developing the major modeling effort of BSIERP, studying the functional responses between groundfish predators and prey and performing associated field work. BSIERP is unique in that it aims to bring modelers and field researchers together at all stages of the project.

REEM modelers presented their models at the meeting in order to receive feedback from meeting participants and participated in multiple working groups aimed at synthesizing the scientific results of the BSIERP effort.

By Kerim Aydin, Troy Buckley, and Ivonne Ortiz

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