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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-348

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Visualization of ontogenetic and interannual distributional shifts of groundfish from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, 1982-2015

Abstract

Since 1982, the Alaska  Fisheries Science Center has conducted standardized bottom trawl  surveys of the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) shelf area between 20 m and 200 m in summer (May - August). During these surveys researchers have collected species composition and bottom temperature for all tows as well as measurements from all fish species encountered. These data have been used to create visualizations of spatial distribution  and distribution  by bottom depth and temperature by length bins for all available surveys for 22 groundfish and skate species. This provides a unique look at the spatial and environmental preferences of a wide variety of species, as well as ontogenetic shifts in spatial distribution and environmental preferences over 34 years. The visualizations provided in this paper are meant to facilitate a better understanding of the life histories of these species over time and space and provide clues to how climate change may potentially  impact species at different life stages.



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