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Development of Oceanographic Atlases for Pelagic and Insular Fisheries and Resource Management of the Pacific Basin

*** See main web site for this project, maintained by the NMFS staff involved in this project, NMFS-HL CoastWatch Program, Honolulu ***

Progress Reports (PDF): FY 2005, FY 2004, FY 2003, FY 2002, FY 2001

Project Overview
Information pertaining to the structure and dynamics of the ocean is essential to understanding marine ecosystem dynamics and to interpret the dynamics of fishery resources within the context of the ecosystem, habitat and large-scale environmental patterns. Oceanographic data have potential application in stock assessment, and in predictions of effects of seasonal, interannual (e.g. El Niño) and decadal variability on fishery performance and population dynamics models. Development of broad-based ecosystem approaches to fisheries management is hindered by the bewildering array of oceanographic information currently available. There are very few, if any, consistent coding standards in place and each data source may require different software for access. Thus it is very difficult for a non-specialist to take advantage of these potentially valuable sources of information.

To improve access to oceanographic information project researchers propose to compile all available oceanographic and environmental data and develop scientific databases and a set of atlases of oceanographic conditions and variability for the Pacific basin. These databases will be used to produce atlases of Pacific basin water conditions and for use in stock assessment and modeling, and management of Pacific pelagic resources. Atlases for each of the U.S. EEZs in the central and western Pacific will be produced to assist the fisheries and resource managers in those regions. Additionally, gridded atlases for other pelagic regions of the Pacific Ocean will be produced to assist national and international managers of highly migratory species and other pelagics.

Project researchers will conduct user group meetings to determine data and product needs of fisheries and resource managers. Production and management of these large data sets will be accomplished in cooperation with the University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) located within the university's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Due to a general scarcity of oceanographic surveys in many Pacific Ocean regions, the primary in situ data sets will be subsurface temperature and salinity observations from the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and the U.S. Navy Master Oceanographic Observation Data Set (MOODS). Efforts will be made to update these large national data sets with local and other observations. In regions with particularly scarce subsurface observations, dynamical oceanographic model output may be used to supplement the observations. These data will compliment the remotely-sensed observations of sea surface temperature, sea surface height and computed geostrophic velocities, surface wind velocities, wind stress curl, wind divergence and ocean color. After compilation, the data will undergo quality control and processing to produce the user defined products. Published atlases will also be posted on the World Wide Web at the NOAA CoastWatch Hawaii Regional Node.

Year 1 funding for this project awarded in November 2000.

Principal Investigators:
Dr. Russell Brainard
National Marine Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
Phone (808) 983-5392
FAX (808) 983-2902
email: Rusty.Brainard@noaa.gov
Mr. Russell Moffitt
National Marine Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
Phone (808) 983-5305
FAX (808) 983-2902
email:
Russell.Moffitt@noaa.gov

 

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This page updated October 26, 2009