Analysis of Groundfishes and Fishing Effort to Support the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment
Project Status: This project began in March, 2011 and is Ongoing
We are developing maps of fishing pressure and models that predict the occurrence of fish off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). Our project is in support of NOAA’s integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) of this area, which is tasked with analyzing fish and fishing pressure to improve our understanding of the ecosystem and to forecast how environmental conditions and management actions affect it.
Why We Care
Large marine ecosystems provide us a valuable array of goods, services, and benefits, including fish and shellfish, transportation via ships, and recreational opportunities. With coastal ocean usage demands increasing (e.g. wind farms/energy development), we need a fully developed and integrated depiction of the resources and activities currently in place and their location. Full insight is needed to improve our ability to make the best resource and activity management and conservation decisions. Our project is providing some of the critical data needed to optimize coastal ocean resource management in the CCLME.
What We’re Doing
Along with our partners, we are identifying the suitable analytical approach for groundfish distribution modeling and testing it on 15 species of interest. We are also identifying the process of obtaining and analyzing vessel monitoring system data. These products will provide information to assess changes in total fish volume (or biomass), fishing effort, and fleet dynamics over a range of spatial and time scales.
In the immediate future, we plan to:
Develop spatially explicit and species-specific predictions of groundfish abundance at discrete time periods and size classes.
Compile vessel monitoring system (VMS) data and a statistical approach to generate explicit predictions of fishing effort.
Identify spatial relationships among fishing pressure, groundfish groups, and habitat and oceanographic variables.
Create a list of indicators using new spatially explicit predictions to assess changes in groundfish size and condition and fishing effort.
Related Regions of Study: California, Oregon, Washington
Primary Contact: Charles Menza
Science for Coastal Ecosystem Management (Ecological Forecasts and Tools, Human Dimensions)
Related NCCOS Center: CCMA