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Global comparison of sardine, anchovy and other small pelagics: Building towards a multi-species model

Organizers: Fishery research agency
November 14, 2005 - November 18, 2005
Tokyo, Japan
Presentation at this event.

Organizer's website

Pew Institute Scientist Vera Agostini has been invited to participate in a workshop bringing together oceanographers, fisheries scientists and managers from key coastal areas that support small pelagic fish to understand their fluctuation at large scales.

The long term series that exist on sardine and anchovies, as well as the recent advances in the physical and biological models used, provide an opportunity for an integrated look at the nature of the fluctuations, the existence of the apparent teleconnection, and the development of common management approaches in an effort to ameliorate the impact on human coastal communities.

The workshop plans to use existing modeling approaches to quantify how climate alters marine ecosystem structure and function. Modeling methodologies will continue to be developed to study the links between climate variability and its effects on marine ecosystems through pelagic fish. During the workshop, concrete plans will be developed to transfer results to the management /policy arena.

The California Current Ecosystem: a brief overview with a focus on California Sardine.

Vera Agostini

Climate variability has been known to impact production of a number of California Current pelagic species. Studies have often attempted to link climate forcing directly with stock production variability, aggregating impacts across large spatial scales and range of species. The focus of these studies has been on directly linking climate with fish abundance metrics, often overlooking a more detailed analysis of how climate forcing impacts the ocean habitat of pelagic species. Pelagic habitat represents the common link between climate and production variability of marine ecosystems. Considering the oceanography of pelagic habitats has potential to reveal important links between atmosphere-ocean variability and fishery productivity. California sardine (Sardinops sagax) is one of the major coastal pelagics of the California Current Ecosystem. This stock dominated the west coast fisheries of North America for much of the first half of the twentieth century. The population then collapsed in the late 1940s, and remained at very low levels until the mid-1980s, when it began to rebuild. California sardine spawns off the coasts of California and northern Mexico and exhibits large-scale migrations to feed in regions off Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The extent of migrations varies and is related to ocean conditions. In this presentation I will: 1) provide a brief summary of the physical and biological structure of the California Current Ecosystem and the ecology of California sardine; 2) place the dynamics of the region in the context of larger physical processes; 3) briefly outline mechanisms potentially explaining the response of California sardine to climate forcing.

Authors highlighted in blue are staff of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.

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