Species Identification Confidence in the Eastern Bering Sea Shelf Survey (1982-2008)
The quality and specificity of field identifications for many taxa have fluctuated over the history of the surveys due to changing priorities and resources. Historical trends in identification quality for each of the major Alaska Fisheries Science Center bottom trawl surveys was documented. These reports include identification confidence matrices for all fishes and invertebrates identified from respective surveys.
The Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) has been conducting bottom trawl surveys of the eastern Bering Sea continental shelf since the early 1970s. A grid of 356 stations (Fig. 1) has been sampled annually since 1982 for the purpose of tracking population trends in the fish and invertebrate resources of the eastern Bering Sea. Information gathered from the summer survey provides fisheries-independent population trends that are invaluable for stock assessments and development of management strategies for commercially exploited fish and invertebrate species in the region. In addition to their utility as a management tool, data collected on these surveys have been used by a variety of constituents to examine spatial and temporal trends in the fish and invertebrate fauna of the eastern Bering Sea.