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Abstracts: Protected Species Stock Assessment Improvement Plan Tier III Workshop 2006

Workshop Home | Abstracts | Agenda | Groups | Readings | Terms of Reference

Tues, 7 March

9-10:15 Welcome, Intent/Scope of the Workshop - Jim Lecky, NMFS Office of Protected Resources

SAIP Background - Dr. Richard Merrick, NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Program, Planning, Budgeting, and Execution System (PPBES) and Ecosystems Goal Team - Steve Swartz, NMFS Office of Science & Technology

How this meeting will progress - Dr. Richard Merrick, NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Big picture talk on Ecosystems Approach to Management (EAM) - Elliot Norse, Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI)

The Global EAM Perspective - Steve Murawski, NMFS Office of Science & Technology
12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-5:00 Ecosystem Studies with A Protected Species Component (30 min case studies)

1:00-1:30 Disease and Ecosystems - Andy Dobson, Princeton University

1:30-2:00 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Ecosystem Assessment - Jake Rice, Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
Jurisdictions around the world are facing many of the challenges to be addressed by Tier III assessments. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), as the main provider of scientific advice to the European Community DG Fish and DG Environment, and to the fisheries and environmental commissions in the Northeast Atlantic, has been revising its Working Group structure and refocusing the activities of its Science and Advisory Committees to build capacity for integrated ecosystem assessments, and for provision of advice to management agencies which integrates fisheries issues, environmental quality, and species covered under the Species and Habitat Directive of the EC. In Canada, the adoption of Canada's Oceans Strategy in 2002 and coming into force of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003 have required a similar restructuring of the approaches to assessments and provision of science advice. Ecosystem Assessments and a focus on recovery potential of species listed under SARA have taken a central place in Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Science advisory tasks. As Chief Scientist of International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) from 2002-2004 and Director of Assessments and Advice for Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), I have been immersed in helping to plan and implement these changes. I will review the avenues examined by both bodies, how similarities and differences in directions taken relate to both science capacity and legal frameworks. As a member of the NOAA Science Advisory Board, I have some familiarity with the US situation as well and will try to apply some of the lessons learned elsewhere to the challenges in the US setting.

2:00-2:30 Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)/Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) - Christian Reiss, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
CCAMLR is an international body addressing living marine resource use and conservation in the Antarctic Ecosystem. Many of the assessment models for targeted and protected species are in some form linked to lower trophic level production, particularly of krill. Management decision criteria are developed in a precautionary manner, including "set asides" for krill. These can vary by species, but all are generally adaptive and coordinated.

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:15 Energy Modeling and Analysis eXercise (EMAX) - Jason Link, NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Energy Modeling and Analysis eXercise (EMAX) is a focused ecosystem study being conducted by the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center. It is a network analysis model (aka a more nuanced energy budget) of the entire food web. It includes entire NE US continental shelf, broken into 4 subregions, 34 network "nodes" or biomass state variables across a broad range of biology. The emphasis is on the role of small pelagics, with some pseudo-dynamic scenarios possible. Interactions with protected species are explicitly included.

3:15-3:45 Ocean Health - Teri Rowles, NMFS
The OHHI seeks to understand the nature of interactions between human health and ocean processes, and to provide useful information to policy and decision makers. Focus areas include marine toxins and infectious diseases, chemical pollutants, coastal water quality and beach safety, seafood quality, and sentinel species as indicators of both potential human health risks and of human impact on marine systems. Importantly, the OHHI also focuses on the positive benefits of the sea such as the ecologically sound discovery of curative agents and marine natural products.

3:45-5:00 Panel Discussion

5:00 Break for day

Wed, 8 March


Protected Species Studies with an Ecosystem Component (30 min case studies)

8:30-9:00 Ecosystem Approach in Terrestrial Frogs - Andrew Cunningham, London Zoological Society

9:00-9:30 Ecopath/Ecosim Model for Green Turtles in the Caribbean - Colette Wabnitz, University of British Columbia

9:30-10:00 Canadian Research on Cod-Seal Interactions - Garry Stenson, Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
The collapse of the Northwest Atlantic cod fishery has become a metaphor for ecological catastrophe and is universally cited as an example of failed management of a natural resource. Various hypotheses have been advanced for the demise of these once abundant stocks. One is that physical changes in habitat have led to the decline. Cold water, reduced salinity, and other environmental parameters have been posited as components of the problem by reputable researchers. Another hypothesis is that the decline resulted from overfishing of cod stocks, and a statistically significant relationship has been demonstrated between the decline of cod and commercial harvests (Hutchings and Myers 1994). A third alternative hypothesis is that harp seal (or grey seal) predation on cod has contributed to the decline of cod stocks and/or to the lack of recovery. Over the past decade(s) scientists at the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have studied the interaction between seals and cods in an attempt to explore this hypothesis. Work here has focused on building accurate consumption models derived from the considerable data collected on seal population dynamics, physiology, prey consumption, and movements. These consumption models can then be incorporated into cod assessment models to evaluate seal impacts on cod stocks.

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-10:45 Ecosystem-scale analyses in support of management in Puget Sound - Mary Ruckelshaus and Michelle McClure, NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
The Puget Sound ecosystem contains over 40 species currently listed on state and federal imperiled species lists, dead zones within certain embayments, and over a dozen Superfund sites within the Sound. These insults to the ecosystem impair the services that it provides—hindering not only recreational enjoyment of the region, but also human health, fishing and other economic pursuits. Scientific analyses in support of recovering and rebuilding species within the Puget Sound led us inexorably towards ecosystem approaches to management. We will illustrate how we have used ecosystem-scale scientific analyses to develop a regional salmon recovery plan and what science we currently are conducting to support regional efforts in ecosystem-scale management. The salmon recovery plans are based on restoring landscapes and habitat-forming processes in terrestrial, estuarine and marine environments. Recovery planners designed landscape restoration strategies based on our models of the combined effects of habitat, hatchery and harvest management, and how alternative future climate scenarios impacted the predicted success of their proposed strategies. Given recent Orca listings, the strong food web interactions in marine waters, and water quality degradation in Puget Sound, we recognized that we need a more scientifically explicit ecosystem framework within which we manage species and their habitats. In conjunction with a Puget Sound-wide ecosystem management initiative launched by Governor Christine Gregoire, we are leading a scientific effort to develop a collaborative 'state of the science' document. The document is authored by scientists from multiple agencies and universities, and provides a common vision of what we know about how the Puget Sound ecosystem functions, the ecosystem services it provides, key threats to those services, and socio-economic values. The document also contains a decision support framework illustrating how natural and social sciences will inform an eventual EAM plan for the Sound. We will show preliminary analyses for several components of the ecosystem-scale modeling in Puget Sound.

10:45-11:15 Eastern Tropical Pacific Dolphin Studies - Lisa Ballance, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Incidental mortality of dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific yellow fin tuna purse-seine fishery has been historically high. That mortality has dropped to values close to 0 since 1990. However, depleted populations of dolphins have not recovered as expected and the natural question to pose is why. We posit four possible causes: time lag, fishery effects, a change in carrying capacity of the system, or some other factor. A major climate shift occurred in the North Pacific in the late 1970's. Evidence of ecosystem change in the Eastern Tropical Pacific associated with this shift is equivocal. It is conceivable that environmental change at this time affected spotted and spinner dolphins, although it is unlikely to have caused the apparent 3- to 5-fold decrease in carrying capacity needed to explain the lack of recovery.

11:15-11:45 Linkages Between North Atlantic Right Whales and their Habitat - Andrew Pershing, Cornell University
Oceanographers and atmospheric scientists have done a good job describing the average, or climatological, conditions over the Earth, and we understand the major processes that account for these conditions. There is now much interest in understanding what causes one year (or decade, or century...) to be different than another. Cornell researchers have conducted several studies of the changes in physical conditions in the Gulf of Maine since the 1950s and how these changes have impacted zooplankton populations. One current project uses this knowledge to develop predictive indices for physical and biological conditions in the Gulf of Maine. This is of particular importance to understanding survival and recruitment of North Atlantic right whales. With only a few hundred animals left, the North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered marine species. They have investigated the impact of interannual variability in Calanus finmarchicus, on right whale reproduction, and are currently studying the factors which can be used to predict aggregations of right whales based on the distribution of their prey.

11:45-12:15 Ecosystem Approaches to Management for Coral Reefs - John Ogden

12:15-1:00 Panel Discussion

1:00-2:00 Lunch (on your own)
2:00-2:15 Charge for Working Group - Dr. Richard Merrick, NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Working Group sessions

2:15-3:15 Brainstorm first question

3:15-3:30 Brainstorm second question

3:30-4:15 Brainstorm third question

4:15-5:00 Brainstorm last question

5:00-5:30 Working Group Rapporteur and Chairs meet to discuss progress
5:30 Break for day

Thurs, 9 March

8:30-9:00 Convene in Plenary: Working Groups give Brief Status Reports
9:00-12:00 Continue Working Group discussions
12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-4:30 Continue Working Group discussions - Break into smaller groups to draft report's parts
4:30-5:00 Working Groups reconvene - Review progress, determine next steps
5:00-5:30 Working Group Rapporteur and Chairs meet to discuss progress
5:30 Break for day

Fri, 10 March

8:30-10:00 Convene in Plenary: Working Groups present findings
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-1:00 Synthesis discussion of Working Group results; Discuss next steps
1:00 Adjourn Workshop
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