Alaska Marine Ecosystem Status Reports
Ecosystem Status Reports are produced annually to compile and summarize information about the status of the Alaska marine ecosystems for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the scientific community and the public. As of 2016, there are separate reports for the the Eastern Bering Sea (updated 2017), Aleutian Islands (updated 2016), the Gulf of Alaska (updated 2017), and Arctic (forthcoming) ecosystems. These reports include ecosystem report cards, ecosystem assessments, and ecosystem and ecosystem-based management indicators that together provide context for ecosystem-based fisheries management in Alaska.
To advance ecosystem-based management, scientists too must take a broader approach in providing scientific advice to resource managers. At the center, we are moving beyond traditional single-species stock assessment advice and providing up to date ecosystem information and assessments.
There is a broad spectrum of ecosystem research currently being conducted at the center and elsewhere that can provide useful advice to managers including habitat research, ongoing trophic interactions work, long-term monitoring of non-commercial species, and multispecies and ecosystem models.
Although the ultimate goal is to have quantitative predictions from this research to guide management, these efforts already serve as indicators of ecosystem status and trends. These indicators can provide an early warning system for managers, signaling human or climate-induced changes that may warrant management action. They can also serve to track the success of previous ecosystem-oriented management efforts.