2022 Alaska Fisheries Science Center Seminar Series
2022 Seminars will be held virtually using Webex - Tuesdays @ 10am Pacific.
The AFSC seminar series provides a venue for researchers to present new research on fish, fisheries management, marine mammal ecology, and habitats across Alaska’s marine ecosystems. We encourage speakers to present work that is of broad interest to the Alaska marine science community, and welcome speakers and attendees from both inside and outside the AFSC. The series features around 10 speakers annually, with seminars occurring weekly from late winter-spring. Seminars occur Tuesdays at 10 am.
We hope to see you there! Send any questions to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 AFSC Seminar Poster (PDF, 1 page)
Or via Webex meeting number (https://noaanmfs-meets.webex.com): 2762 343 8233
Meeting Password: Fisheries2022!
Or by phone: +1-415-527-5035 Access code: 2762 343 8233
March 1, 2022 - Sean Lucey
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Sean Lucey, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Improving reproducibility and efficiency of ecosystem-based science by embracing open science principles
The gold standard in science is replication. Many times with ecosystem-based science it is impossible to replicate studies. The next best thing is to make the science reproducible. This can be very hard to do especially when dealing with something as complex as marine ecosystems. Even things as simple as updating an indicator can be difficult when access to original data or the methods that developed it are not easily accessible. This often leads to analysts recreating code or needing to rediscover data. Embracing open science principles can alleviate some of these issues. Here I present two examples of using open science principles. The first is the generation of annual State of the Ecosystem reports and associated risk assessment. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center produces these ecosystem status reports for the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The latter is further refined into an ecosystem risk assessment for the Council. The production of the reports is a complex process that occurs on a relatively compact schedule. We would not be able to produce the reports without the reproducible process developed through the adoption of open data science principles. The second example is the development of an open source ecosystem model, Rpath. Rpath is an R implementation of the mass balance algorithms popularized by the Ecopath with Ecosim software. The open nature of the code has also allowed for community development of the model. Other advantages include Rpath’s utilization of R scripts to run which captures all the decisions and model parameters in a transparent manner. Embracing open science does require commitment and a change to the way things were done in the past. However this pragmatic shift in the way we work can greatly improve not only the reproducibility of our work but also our efficiency.
March 8, 2022 - Katie Arkema
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Katie Arkema, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Addressing the global climate crisis locally: renewable energy and nature-based solutions in coastal communities
Nature-based climate solutions and renewable energy transitions are both critical strategies within many countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Accord. Using two case studies, I will discuss how quantifying the contribution of natural systems to human wellbeing and economic development can help countries implement these strategies on a local scale. The first case study involves selection of blue carbon targets—based on climate mitigation, fisheries, tourism, and coastal risk reduction benefits of mangroves—to inform Belize’s NDC update, submitted to the UNFCCC this fall. The second case study is a renewable energy transition program spearheaded by the Department of Energy in coastal, remote, and islanded communities across the US.
March 22, 2022 - Kirsten Simonsen
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Kirsten Simonsen, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Hook, Line, and Sinker: How Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries are Managed
Recreational fishing is a multi-million dollar a year industry in Washington state alone, supporting over 15,000 jobs throughout the state, and catering to almost a million anglers annually. Managing these fisheries to ensure sustainability, while providing diverse opportunities, is vitally important. For salmon fisheries in the Puget Sound Region, this task is further complicated by the fact that many Puget Sound salmon stocks, including the iconic Chinook, or King, Salmon, are a listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Providing fishing opportunities directed on salmon in the Puget Sound Region is a delicate balancing act between sustainability, rebuilding wild salmon runs, Tribal ceremonial and subsistence fisheries, commercial fisheries, and recreational fisheries. This talk will briefly describe the salmon season setting process, known as North of Falcon, and how this balance is achieved. I will also discuss how in-season monitoring and management is conducted in both the marine and freshwater environment. In the marine areas, a combination of test fishing, boat sampling, and dockside creel sampling are used to collect information on effort and total encounters to ensure fisheries stay within agreed upon quotas. In the freshwater areas, salmon can be counted at designated choke points as they move up the river, allowing managers to estimate the total number of fish that will reach spawning grounds. For each of these systems, I will discuss the specific methods used, challenges faced, and proposed ideas to expand monitoring. With increasing population size and more pressure on the environment and natural resources than ever, effective management is critical, and will only be accomplished through effective monitoring of these resources.
March 29, 2022 - Sam Urmy
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Sam Urmy, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Automated probabilistic echo solving: a scalable Bayesian inverse approach for fisheries acoustics
Identifying echo sign is a perennial challenge in fisheries acoustics. Most practitioners classify acoustic backscatter using a combination of direct sampling (such as research trawls) and contrasts between different echosounder frequencies, then estimate abundance by integrating the echo energy at a single frequency. While time-tested, this approach struggles with species mixtures, and discards multi-frequency information when integrating. Inverse methods do not have these limitations, but are seldom used, because their species identifications are often ambiguous and their algorithms complicated to implement. We address these shortcomings with a probabilistic, Bayesian inversion method. Like other inversion methods, it handles species mixtures, uses all available frequencies, and extends naturally to broadband signals. Unlike prior approaches, it leverages Bayesian priors to rigorously incorporate information from direct sampling and biological knowledge, constraining the inversion and reducing ambiguity in species identification. Because it is probabilistic, it can be trusted to run automatically: it should not produce solutions that are both wrong and confident. Unlike some data-driven machine learning models, it is based on acoustical scattering processes, so its inferences are physically interpretable. Finally, the approach is straightforward to implement using existing Bayesian libraries, and is easily parallelized for large datasets. We present examples using simulations and field data from the Gulf of Alaska, and discuss possible extensions and applications of the method.
April 5, 2022 - Marisa Litz
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Marisa Litz, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Exploring productivity, growth, and run timing changes of Puget Sound Chum Salmon in the face of environmental variability and competition
Chum Salmon make up some of the highest returns of Pacific Salmon to Washington State and support robust commercial and recreational fisheries, even at the southernmost extent of their range. However, Chum Salmon productivity (recruits-per-spawner) has been declining in recent decades, which is in stark contrast with current record high abundances of Pink and Chum Salmon in the North Pacific. Washington Chum Salmon resources are closely monitored and managed by the state and Puget Sound Treaty Tribes, yet few studies have explored variation in abundance, growth, or migration timing of these populations over time. In a series of studies, we explored multidecadal shifts in population dynamics, growth, and migration phenology of Chum Salmon with respect to intra- and interspecific competition, harvest, predation, and environmental variability experienced across multiple scales over the life cycle. We found evidence of declining, non-stationary productivity related to large-scale oceanographic indices and odd-year Pink Salmon abundance, as well as density-dependent effects on Chum Salmon growth in the ocean. We also documented a shift towards earlier adult migration timing of South Puget Sound Chum Salmon in recent decades associated with freshwater availability and increasing pinniped abundance. Our results identify new indicators for forecasting and suggest additional ways of monitoring that could benefit in-season Chum Salmon management.
April 12, 2022 - Paul McElhany
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Paul McElhany, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Dungeness crab in an acidifying ocean: understanding an process
Dungeness crab, the most valuable fishery on the U.S. West Coast, show mixed response to ocean acidification and other climate change stressors. Through species response experiments in controlled aquaria, we explore CO2 sensitivity by looking at a variety of metrics, including those that drive demographic processes (e.g. survival and growth rate) and those that provide insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying the response (e.g. metabolic pathways and calcification).The data are input to models that explore population level processes related to management issues, such as environmental thresholds. The differing sensitivities of different life stages and uncertainties about the factors driving population dynamics complicate predictions of climate change effects on Dungeness crab. In addition to exploring ocean acidification effects on Dungeness crab, we will discuss tools and approaches used for conducting the research that could be applicable to any science effort. These tools and approaches include the Openscapes framework for open data science, GitHub projects for managing work flow, and R Shiny applications for internal data exploration.
April 19, 2022 - Marysia Szymkowiak
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Marysia Szymkowiak, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Gulf of Alaska Fishing Communities and Climate Change Adaptation
Climate change is dramatically altering the marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska with downturns in several valuable fisheries, decreasing fish sizes, changes in salmon run timing and strength, and algal and jellyfish blooms. At the forefront of these changes are fishermen whose livelihoods and overall well-being are adversely impacted. Economists and social scientists at NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center are examining fleet dynamics, community impacts, and adaptation potential in Gulf of Alaska fishing communities associated with climate change as part of an interdisciplinary project called Gulf of Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (GOA-CLIM). This presentation focuses on the research that is being conducted to understand the adaptation component of the project – what tools fishermen and fishing communities have and need to adapt to these new challenges. The presentation demonstrates the interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approach to conducting this research and preliminary findings about the intersection of science, communication, and decision-making around climate change.
April 26, 2022 - Kim Goetz & Alexander Zerbini
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Kim Goetz & Alexander Zerbini, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 10:00 am Pacific time
Cetacean distribution in the Gulf of Alaska: Preliminary results from the 2021 PacMAPPS survey
The Gulf of Alaska provides important habitat for many endangered marine mammal species and is also an area of high anthropogenic activity. Despite this, very few large scale marine mammal surveys have occurred, and abundance estimates are outdated for several key species. To address this, the US Navy-funded Pacific Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (PacMAPPS) survey was conducted by the Marine Mammal Laboratory (MML/AFSC) in the northern Gulf of Alaska from 1 to 26 August 2021 to obtain information on the distribution, density, and abundance of marine mammals. The survey area was split into two strata: coastal (30 m to 500 m depth) and slope (500 m to 4000 m depth). The survey followed distance sampling methods and marine mammal search, detection, and identification were conducted by two independent platforms using 25x big eye binoculars. Real-time passive acoustic monitoring was conducted via sonobuoys deployed approximately every 30 nm. Finally, oceanographic data (via an underway water sampling system), daily CTDs, and prey data (via EK80) were collected. A total of 2,592 km of tracklines were surveyed, and 667 marine mammal sightings were documented (including duplicates and possible resights). The two most commonly documented large whale species were humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and fin (Balaenoptera physalus) whales, with 137 and 98 sightings, respectively. Humpback, gray (Eschrichtius robustus), and North Pacific right (Eubalaena japonica) whales were only sighted in the coastal strata. Killer whales (Orcinus orca), identified to ecotype, were distributed throughout the survey area, while sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were sighted only in deep (>400 m) water. Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) were the most commonly sighted small cetacean (111 sightings). Four critically endangered North Pacific right whales (NPRW) were sighted, the most seen in any survey in the Gulf of Alaska. Two whales were matched to known individuals in the MML/AFSC NPRW catalog, and two were confirmed new animals; none were matched to animals from the Bering Sea. A total of 110 sonobuoys were deployed (96 successful), for over 133 hours of acoustic monitoring. Results were in good agreement with visual sightings; primary species detected include fin, sperm, killer, humpback, and North Pacific right whales. Seismic airguns were detected on 47% of sonobuoys, including in the far northeast corner of the survey area (activities occurring in lower Cook Inlet, AK). Estimates of cetacean abundance and of detection probability on the trackline (g) is currently being computed.
May 3, 2022 - Alan Haynie CANCELLED
Poster (PDF, 1 page) - 2022 Alan Haynie, AFSC Seminar
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - CANCELLED
Integrating Socioeconomics in the Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling Project (ACLIM)
The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center, the University of Washington, and other partners to examine how predicted warming may impact the Bering Sea ecosystem – and how to ensure that the management system is as prepared as possible for the coming changes. Under different carbon emissions scenarios, ACLIM links regional ocean models with a suite of biological models – ranging from climate-enhanced single-species models to spatial ecosystem models. Each model includes different levels of ecosystem and fishery modeling complexity, which allows us to examine the interaction of sources of climatic and biological variability, change, and uncertainty and how current and potential management measures influence the system. This talk is focused on the socioeconomic scenarios used in the first phase of the project and new scenarios that are currently being developed with stakeholder input. The coupling of these scenarios with the other elements of the ACLIM modeling process will enable fishery managers and other stakeholders on evaluate how different management tools may make the system more resilient in the face of future changes.