Coordination with On-going Programs

A U.S. GLOBEC program in the North Pacific would benefit from parallel development of complementary research programs of other nations through the PICES-GLOBEC CCCC program. International cooperation on a common research program will inevitably enhance our national research efforts. In the case of coastal programs, Japanese and Russian studies in the Bering Sea, and Canadian research off British Columbia will augment U.S. investigations of ecosystem responses to climate variability.

U.S. GLOBEC research programs in the North Pacific would complement proposed research for the California Current (U.S. GLOBEC 1994b). Coordination with the California Current program is highly desirable because large-scale forcing for both regions could be modeled simultaneously.

The North Pacific is a desirable region for U.S. GLOBEC research efforts partially because of the potential for coordination with seven existing process-oriented programs. A short description of each of these programs follows.

  1. Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI): FOCI focuses research on biological and physical processes that influence survival of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). FOCI is comprised of scientists at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), and several other institutions who have been studying both the biotic and abiotic environment, including processes within larval patches through integrated field, laboratory and modeling studies. The original focus of FOCI was recruitment to the pollock population spawning in Shelikof Strait.

  2. Bering Sea FOCI: Bering Sea FOCI, a component of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationšs (NOAA) Coastal Ocean Program (COP), has been studying production of walleye pollock in the Bering Sea since 1991. The Bering Sea FOCI program is a six-year research program that ends in 1996. The Bering Sea FOCI program has two main thrusts: a) investigation of stock structure of pollock in the Bering Sea; and, b) investigation of recruitment of walleye pollock in the southeast portion of the Bering Sea where significant spawning takes place.

  3. Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity (SEBSCC): SEBSCC is a new regional study funded through NOAA's COP. The SEBSCC study will focus resources during each of the next five years to improve our understanding of the Bering Sea ecosystem. This program begins in 1996 and will continue through 2001.

  4. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees (EVOS): The EVOS Trustees support research programs that guide the development of an integrated science plan for restoration of species potentially injured by oil spills in Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska. These programs include the Sound Ecosystem Assessment (SEA) program, and the Apex Predator Ecosystem Experiment (APEX) . SEA is an interdisciplinary, multi-component program designed to understand factors constraining pink salmon and herring production in Prince William Sound.

  5. NMFS Ocean Carrying Capacity Studies (OCC). The AFSC's Auke Bay Laboratory initiated the OCC study on Pacific salmon in the Gulf of Alaska in 1995. The OCC study is focused around cooperative Canada-U.S. research surveys on the marine life history of Pacific salmonids and will include studies of: age-at-maturity, modeling and diet studies, and retrospective studies of salmon growth. These process-oriented research programs will provide: a) estimates of many of the critical biological parameters required to develop a coupled bio-physical model, and b) spatially explicit physical models for the region.

  6. The Canadian La Perouse program provides a continuous time series of biological and physical oceanographic conditions off the outer coast of Vancouver Island since 1985.

  7. Biophysical Controls of Salmon Migration and Production (BCSMP). BCSMP is a three-year research program at the University of British Columbia, Canada which is funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The program is focused on large scale ocean currents and their influence on Pacific salmon migration and production. Funding for this program terminates in 1996.

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