From: NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
Published August 1, 2017 05:26 PM

New NOAA Fisheries Research Reveals Ecosystem Cascades Affecting Salmon

Interpreting relationships between species and their environments is crucial to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM), a priority for NOAA Fisheries. EBM recognizes the diverse interactions within an ecosystem — including human impacts — so NOAA Fisheries can consider resource tradeoffs that help protect and sustain productive ecosystems and the services they provide.

For example, in the California Current, understanding the interactions between predator seabirds, forage fish in the coastal ocean and out-migrating salmon from San Francisco Bay could improve the understanding of salmon early survival in the ocean and a measure of the possible strength of the year class return.

In the Gulf of the Farallones, new research by scientists from NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Point Blue Conservation Science, H.T. Harvey and Associates, University of California Santa Cruz, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that the common murre, a small ocean seabird, can make a difference in the number of salmon that survive to return as adults. This is especially true when ocean conditions cause the murres to feed primarily on salmon and anchovy. The research has been published online in the Journal of Marine Systems, and will be included in the journal’s October print issue.

Read more at NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

Image: Common murres flying with forage fish (likely anchovy) in their mouths near the breeding ground on the Farallon Islands.  Credit: Point Blue Conservation Science

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