Arctic and Chukchi Sea Ecosystem Survey

NOAA Fisheries scientists in Alaska partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to provide a comprehensive assessment of the northeastern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea.

Fish sample from the Arctic/Chukchi Sea

Fish sample from the Arctic/Chukchi Sea.

Sampling with bongo nets in Arctic/Chukchi Sea

Sampling with bongo nets in Arctic/Chukchi Sea.

NOAA places a high priority on research in the Arctic. The North Pacific Ocean is warming and the thickness and extent of the Arctic ice is shrinking. Loss of sea ice is having a profound effect on the distribution, migration, energetics, and survival of commercially important fish species in the Bering Sea/Chukchi Sea. Scientists within the Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment Program partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to provide a comprehensive assessment of the northeastern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea (NEBS/CS) ecosystems including the physical environment, the primary and secondary producers that support Arctic marine food webs, and the numerous fish species utilizing the area. Research is planned to begin during 2012.

Assessment Goals

  • Collect baseline fisheries and oceanographic data to enable resource managers to better predict effects of climate and human impacts on ocean productivity and on the ecology of marine and anadromous fish species within the northeastern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea.
  • Assess the distribution, relative abundance, diet, energy density, size, and potential predators of juvenile salmon, other commercial fish, and forage fish within the northeastern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea.
  • Evaluate the effect of climate change on the health and status of pelagic fishes within the northeastern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea.
  • Funding for this work comes from the Coastal Impacts Assistance Program (CIAP). Partners include the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the MACE, Genetics, HAMC, and HEPR Programs within AFSC.

Additional Resources

Contacts