Southeastern Bering Sea Ecosystem Assessment

The fishery and oceanographic survey in the southeastern Bering Sea combines surface trawl and midwater acoustics to collect indices on fish size, relative abundance, energetic status, distribution, and diet.

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Southeastern Bering Sea survey sample.

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Southeastern Bering Sea sample stations (below 60 degrees north)

We conduct a fishery and oceanographic survey in the southeastern Bering Sea using surface trawl and midwater acoustics to collect indices on fish size, relative abundance, energetic status, distribution, and diet. For example, these surveys highlight the connection between chum salmon populations and bycatch in the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. Oceanographic indices include conductivity-temperature at depth, nutrient levels, zooplankton (including jelly fish) and phytoplankton biomass and species assemblage.

The NOAA Fisheries Strategic Climate Plan calls for predictive models of the consequences of climate change on ecosystems through monitoring changes in coastal and marine ecosystems, conducting research on climate-ecosystem linkages, and incorporating climate information into physical-biological models. The goal for this assessment is to develop models relating these fisheries-oceanographic indices to productivity of commercially important fish species (such as pollock, cod, herring, western Alaska salmon) in the southeastern Bering Sea.

The survey leverages Alaska Fisheries Science Center resources through partnerships in regional research programs such as North Pacific Research Board-funded projects, FATE, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission's Bering Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS), the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, and the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Fund.

Data from these surveys have been used in the North Pacific Research Board, Bering Sea Ecosystem Integrated Research Program research activities, reports, and publications.

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