Our research teams develop and maintain biological investigations and data series of California Current forage species, groundfish, and salmon, as well as the pelagic and benthic habitats in which they reside. These investigations are essential for the development of data and analyses that are input into stock assessments, advance our understanding of population ecology and ecosystem dynamics, and subsequently inform status determinations and management advice.
In particular, for longer lived and slower growing species such as rockfish and other groundfish, age and life history data, as well as habitat associations are critical for monitoring population status and understanding the demographic and ecological consequences of fishing. Similarly, understanding the ecosystem drivers and consequences of shifts in the productivity and distribution of epipelagic micronekton forage communities (e.g. young-of-the-year rockfish, squids, myctophids, and krill) provide context for observed changes in the productivity of higher trophic level predators, such as salmon, seabirds and marine mammals, and are critical for informing ecosystem status determinations and ecosystem-based fisheries management. Better understanding salmon dynamics and management is another key advancement in ecosystem-based management, as salmon life cycles cross freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments, and they interact with species and human activities in all of these areas.
Our efforts include the development and application of novel methods, models, and data sources to improve the scientific basis for managing US West Coast fisheries, and represents essential contributions to fisheries stock assessments and the scientific literature.