Alaska Nearshore Fish Atlas Metadata
Information on the distribution and relative abundance of nearshore fishes from beach seine hauls in Alaska is now available to managers as an online Fish Atlas. The atlas is dynamic and will continually be updated as more data becomes available. Presently, the atlas includes distribution and habitat use information for nearshore fishes in southeastern Alaska, Prince William Sound, the Aleutian Islands, and the Arctic. This online database has been designed to integrate with the spatially explicit, Alaska ShoreZone web enabled GIS platform. Further details about the database design can be found on Auke Bay Laboratories public website.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 requires the identification of essential fish habitat (EFH) for species included in FMPs. Identifying EFH requires basic information on fish distribution and habitat use. Shallow, marine waters (<20 m offshore and <5 m deep) provide spawning, feeding, and nursery habitats for many FMP species in Alaska. The Alaska Nearshore Fish Atlas database contains information on fish use of shallow-water, marine habitats. The spatially explicit information in this database provides resource managers with data needed to protect areas critical to fisheries and to assess anthropogenic actions that may adversely affect fish habitat. The database provides a baseline for long-term monitoring and could prove invaluable in the event of a major human or natural disturbance.