November 17, 2011
The goals and objectives of this project are to develop statistical models that predict densities of demersal fish species and assemblages and to couple these models with the broad-scale seafloor habitat maps in a geographical-information-systems (GIS) environment to spatially predict fish densities on a regional basis. We are basing these models on fish data (identification, counts, sizes) collected during visual surveys conducted from manned submersibles off central California, and on a number of associated habitat variables (e.g., depth, substratum type, patch size and configuration). A variety of models will be considered, such as generalized linear (GLMs) and additive models (GAMs). Spatial data sets are being compiled (Figure 1), and the most up-to-date multibeam sonar data sets are being synthesized to provide a bathymetric base layer to support the spatially predictive models.
These results will provide managers, policy makers, and the public with information that can be used in the conservation and management of sustainable marine resources (both the fisheries and associated habitats). Development of models of co-occurring species and associated habitats will have application to ecosystem-based management, providing information needed to manage a more complete demersal fish community. By including measures of spatial variability, this work will advance our understanding of the ecological processes that influence demersal fish distribution and abundance.
Figure 1. Spatial data sets compiled to support predictive modeling, including (A) multibeam data and map of submersible survey locations, (B) benthic habitat map, and (C) multibeam-derived product (e.g., habitat complexity, or rugosity).
Yoklavich, Mary, and Lisa Wedding. 2011. Relating population abundance of groundfish species to habitats using predictive models and broad-scale seafloor maps: annual report FY11. Habitat Assessment funded research: progress report to the NMFS Office of Science and Technology. NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Santa Cruz, California. 3 p.
Starr, R. and M. Yoklavich. 2008. Monitoring MPAs in deep water off central California: 2007 IMPACT submersible baseline survey. California Sea Grant College Program Publ. No. T-067: 1-22.
Yoklavich, M.M., G.M. Cailliet, R.N. Lea, H.G. Greene, R. Starr, J. deMarignac, and J. Field. 2002. Deepwater habitat and fish resources associated with the Big Creek Ecological Reserve. CalCOFI Reports 43:120-140.
Yoklavich, M., H. G. Greene, G. Cailliet, D. Sullivan, R. Lea, and M. Love. 2000. Habitat associations of deep-water rockfishes in a submarine canyon: an example of a natural refuge. Fishery Bulletin (U.S.) 98:625-641.
Related item: Underwater Technologies to Survey West Coast Groundfishes
Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Habitat Ecology Team