2009 Alaska Ecosystem Considerations
The purpose of the first section, Ecosystem Assessment, is to summarize historical climate and fishing effects on the eastern Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska ecosystems using information from the other two sections and stock assessment reports. In future drafts, the Ecosystem Assessment section will also provide an assessment of the possible future effects of climate and fishing on ecosystem structure and function. We are currently working on a more concise ecosystem assessment utilizing a blend of data analysis and modeling to clearly communicate the current status and possible future directions of ecosystems.
The purpose of the second section, Ecosystem Status Indicators, is to provide new information and updates on the status and trends of ecosystem components to stock assessment scientists, fishery managers, and the public. The goals are to provide stronger links between ecosystem research and fishery management and to spur new understanding of the connections between ecosystem components by bringing together many diverse research efforts into one document.
The purpose of the third section, Ecosystem-based Management Indices and Information, is to provide either early signals of direct human effects on ecosystem components that might warrant management intervention or to provide evidence of the efficacy of previous management actions. In the first instance, the indicators are likely to be ones that summarize information about the characteristics of the human influences (particularly those related to fishing, such as catch composition, amount, and location) that are influencing a particular ecosystem component.