2001 FRD News, Meetings, and Visitors
Information is chronological with the most recent, first. Choose a date, search for a context string, or browse.
December 11, 2001
After addressing referee comments, Sue Smith and David Au completed a final draft of the paper "Intrinsic rates of increase of pelagic elasmobranchs" by Smith, Au and Show, and returned it to the managing editor of the book "Sharks of the Open Ocean" to be published in 2002 by Blackwell Scientific. They also finalized the paper "Shark and teleost productivities and reproduction protection against collapse," by Au, Smith and Show, which will appear in the same volume. Smith still awaits receipt from the editor of referees' comments on another paper "Biology and ecology of thresher sharks (Family: Alopiidae)," also scheduled to be published in the same volume. Smith also completed, at the request of SWR contractor Larry Six, another alternative option for designation of essential fish habitat for the thirteen management unit species of the West Coast HMS FMP, and submitted it to Six and the Region. Au submitted a final version of status of stocks for the HMS FMP last week.
- This week, David Demer and Stephane Conti of FRD's Advanced Survey Technologies Program have made the first wide-bandwidth (36-202 kHz) acoustical measurements of total target strength (TTS; sound scatter in all directions) from sardine, anchovy, and squid. The measurement sets were made of individual live animals swimming in a highly reverberent tank using a new multi-scattering technique. The resulting curves of TTS versus frequency provide acoustical characterization of these species which should be useful for scattering model validation, more accurate conversion of integrated echo-energy to estimates of biomass, and for remote species identification. The method, being collaboratively pioneered at SWFSC, is also adaptable to measuring numbers of animals in aquacultural, limnological or riverine studies where boundary conditions and reverberation are classically limiting acoustical monitors. Larry Robertson is thanked for acquiring the sardines and anchovies for the experiments and for keeping all three species alive and available in the SWFSC aquarium.
- Ron Dotson, Dave Griffith, Bev Macewicz, Anthony Cossio (CDFG) and Alex Vejar (CDFG) recently returned from a five-day cruise aboard the CDFG’s R/V Mako. The objective was to collect pre-spawned adult female market squid (Loligo opalescens) for improving the potential fecundity value. Attempts were made to collect the animals as they migrate inshore prior to spawning using a 400 Eastern bottom trawl as well as a Marinovich mid-water box trawl. After 15 trawls and several hours of brailing and jigging for squid, only 12 females were collected. These have yet to be evaluated with regard to reproductive maturity.
December 4, 2001
The second Tri-National Sardine Forum was held in Old Town San Diego, November 29-30, 2001. This forum was organized by John Hunter and Paul Smith of the SWFSC and Tim Baumgartner of SIO and CICESE and supported by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research and SWFSC. Approximately 60 participants representing government agencies, academia and the fishing industry of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico participated in the forum. Talks included a wide range of topics: the sardine fishery in Canada, Washington, Oregon, California and Ensenada; the stock status of the sardine population off the west coast of the American continent; and progress reports of four working groups. A panel of three industry representatives, one from each of the countries, described the status of their fisheries and voiced their views on the conservation of sardine population. This was followed by a presentation from Jim Morgan (SWR) regarding the fishing by non-U.S. vessels for un-used U.S. quota. This forum provided a unique opportunity for all parties interested in Pacific sardine to exchange ideas and promote the collaboration of research activities in the near future.
John Butler and John Wagner have analyzed data from the October cruise on the R/V Mako. Using the remotely operated vehicle they located 64 cowcod during 10 days of cruise time both within and outside of the Cowcod Conservation Area. Using parallel lasers, they were able to measure live fork length of 59 cowcod. Sizes ranged from 22 to 92 cm. Most of the cowcod were 50-65 cm. This cruise demonstrated the utility of the ROV for non-invasive sampling of rare fishes. Future cruises will increase the sample sizes and test the difference between the size distribution within and outside the conservation area.
Doug Prescott and Al Coan filled a request from PAIO and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council for information on discards made by U.S. purse seiners fishing within U.S. Island possession EEZ's in the Pacific Ocean (Palmyra/Kingman, Howland, Baker and Jarvis). Data were supplied for the period 1998-2000 to Ray Clarke of PAIO who transmitted the data to Paul Dalzell of the Council.
On Monday Dave Griffith, Ron Dotson and Beverly Macewicz departed on a five-day cruise on the California Department of Fish and Game ship R/V Mako. They will be trawling in the Channel Islands area trying to catch adult Loligo market squid.
November 28, 2001
Sue Smith participated in a teleconference meeting of the North Pacific Albatross Working Group on November 20. This group is made up federal (USFWS,NMFS, USGS), state, academic, and private group representatives with interests in North Pacific seabird (particularly albatross) research and management issues. Smith joined the group at the request of the Region to serve as liaison for the HMS Plan Development Team and to keep abreast of seabird/fisheries issues. The Pacific Council recently adopted the draft west coast HMS FMP for public review, and identified its preferred options. One of these preferred options is to include pelagic longline as legal gear, but only authorized on the high seas (not within the EEZ). The Council also recommended that the west coast-based high-seas longline fishery adopt all turtle and seabird protective measures required of WPRFMC longline vessels. This includes closures specified in the present Interim Rule, which bans swordfish longlining north of the equator. The current Interim Rule expires in mid December but is expected to be renewed for at least another 180 days. Recent observer data from Hawaii indicate that albatross longline bycatch has been dramatically reduced since restricting longline to targeting tuna only.
Dr. Paul Smith has investigated the sub-population problem in sardines and concluded that further work on this topic should be delayed until the harvest model and management procedures are in place on a trinational basis. Sardines appear to have two sets of population parameters which depend on, among other things, the temperature at the site of spawning and embryonic development. These are probably radical revisions of demographic parameters which control harvest policy. Namely, the age at first maturity is about a year younger in the southern group, and the apparent natural mortality is about 0.7 in the southern population and about 0.2 in the northern subpopulation. Further research on this situation would probably be rewarding but would not be useful for management until there is a trinational management protocol.
Nancy Lo finished a draft report of regional biomass for the upcoming trinational meeting on November 29 and 30. The report includes the spawning biomass estimates of sardine off Baja California, Mexico for 1997-1999, off California for 2001, off Oregon for 1996-1998, and a biomass estimate of sardine off Vancouver Island, Canada, for 2001.
Bev Macewicz, Dave Griffith, and Ron Dotson will be participating next week in a joint research cruise with the California Department of Fish and Game on the R/V Mako. The primary objective of the cruise will be to collect prespawning mature female market squid for fecundity data to improve the potential fecundity estimation that will be used to help predict escapement of eggs for management of the fishery.
November 20, 2001Top
November 15, 2001
John Hunter reports that he attended, as an observer-expert in the daily egg production method (DEPM), an ICES Study Group on the Estimation of Spawning Stock Biomass of Sardine and Anchovy in Lisbon, Portugal October 22-25. The objective of the meeting was to design a DEPM survey to estimate the spawning biomass of the Atlanto-Iberian sardine during the spring of 2002. Spain and Portugal will participate in the survey and biomass estimates. Yorgos Stratoudakis (Portugal) chaired the meeting.
A session on the future of CalCOFI monitoring was included as part of the annual CalCOFI conference held in La Jolla November 6-8. Hunter (NMFS La Jolla), Boehlert (NMFS, Pacific Grove), Checkley (UCSD), and Rogers-Bennet (CDFG) gave presentations on the future from the point of view of their organizations. A consensus was quickly reached by the group on several key points: 1) CalCOFI needs to monitor a larger proportion of the California Current to fulfill agency management needs, as well as to monitor the physical processes driving vital biological processes such as recruitment and larval transport; 2) Similar needs exist throughout the California Current system for a comprehensive pelagic ecosystem monitoring program from Baja California to British Columbia; 3) An expanded observation for the California Current pelagic ecosystem will require a coast-wide consortium involving more organizations than those forming CalCOFI, united under a new name, and providing a wider array of public benefits. Such a new organization, of which CalCOFI could be a part, would be expected to preserve CalCOFI values (maintenance of time series, joint venture between academic and resource agencies, and blending of applied and long-range science goals).
Division staff produced two proposals for the November 13 call for proposals on other listed and candidate species. One requests funds to generate a status document for the candidate black abalone, which may also be nearing extinction in U.S. waters, and one is based on recovering the white abalone population following the recommendations of an international panel of experts convened at the SWFSC on November 8-9. The unanimous recommendation of the panel was that the only way white abalone stock can be saved from extinction in U.S. waters was through the development of a captive breeding program and the stocking of juveniles. The focus of the proposal is on brood stock development, inventorying the location and habitat of the survivors and development of grow-out facilities at the SWFSC.
The results of the FY2002 ESDIM review panel have been released, and unfortunately our proposal "Market squid decadal time series of paralarval habitat" was not selected for funding because the focus was on rescuing historic CalCOFI field samples rather than tabulated data. We proposed to establish a time series of squid paralarvae captured in CalCOFI surface samples from 1978 to the present and continue this time series with future annual CalCOFI surveys. Time series information is urgently needed to manage market squid, particularly during El Nino episodes.
Sue Smith has been working with Dave Au on SSC comments on the thresher shark stock assessment, plus revisions of manuscripts for the book "Sharks of the Open Ocean."
Dale Squires and Chris Reid (market advisor of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Solomon Islands) are jointly estimating fishing capacity for the tuna purse seine fishery of the western and central Pacific. Reid will be visiting the La Jolla Laboratory through next week.
November 6, 2001
David Au, Norm Bartoo, Sam Herrick, Susan Smith, and Dale Squires (federal co-chair) attended the meetings of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, SSC, and Advisory Subpanel in San Francisco, CA last week. Au's presentation to the SSC was very positively received and the stock assessment members of the SSC lauded Au for his innovative and imaginative approach to stock assessment for sharks with very limited data. The SSC endorsed Au's work and the HMS FMP draft for public review. The Advisory Subpanel approved the draft Highly Migratory Species Fisheries Management Plan for an upcoming public comment period in January and February. The Council, after presentations by the Advisory Subpanel Team and public comment, also recommended the HMS FMP for public review. The public hearings on the HMS FMP will include San Diego. With regards to the most controversial issue on the agenda, longlining, the Council established as preferred options legalizing pelagic longlines as a gear, closing the EEZ to pelagic longlining, and making high-seas longlining conform to the western Pacific ESA sea turtle and migratory seabird treaty requirements (which have effectively shut down most of the north Pacific to Hawaii-based longlining). Au, Bartoo, Herrick, Smith, and Squires will be attending a HMS Team meeting Wednesday-Friday at Hubbs Sea World Research Institute in San Diego to respond to the Council recommendations to prepare the HMS FMP for public review.
John Childers is tagging albacore with archival tags aboard the F/V Her Grace (Bobby Blocker - captain/owner). The project is a joint project with the American Fishermen's' Research Foundation (AFRF), Western Fishboat Owners' Association (WFOA) and Japanese scientists. AFRF supplied the 15 tags and the vessel. The Japanese will be helping in tag recovery efforts and are also tagging albacore in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Childers reports that he was able to tag 7 albacore about 200 miles off of San Diego on October 27-28. The vessel went in on Friday 11/2 to get more bait and returned to the fishing grounds on Saturday 11/3. The weather is too rough to fish but the captain feels it should clear by Tuesday and Childers will attempt to place the remaining 8 tags.
Al Coan, Gary Sakagawa, Doug Prescott and Gordon Yamasaki have completed a preliminary report on the 2001 central-western Pacific U.S. purse seine fishery. Sakagawa will be presenting the report at the South Pacific Tuna Treaty Meeting in Nadi, Fiji. The report shows that catches of the fleet are down almost 50% during the first seven months of the 2001 season as compared to the same period in 2000. Catch rates are the same at 26 mt/day fished and the fleet has switched back to fishing mainly free-swimming school sets as opposed to fish aggregation devices. The low catch is due to decreased effort as the fleet remained in port in January and most of February 2000 to protest low cannery prices.
Nancy Lo attended the International Conference on Marine Resources and Environment held at National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, on October 3rd. Lo visited four universities in Taiwan, giving seminars, and meeting with students and faculty members. On Oct 15th, Lo flew to Seoul, Korea, and visited the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Busan, and attended a joint conference of the Korean Fisheries Societies at Kangnung National University, Kangwon-do, Korea. During Oct. 22-26, she visited the Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, and Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute, Keelung.
October 16, 2001
- On October 10, Ray Conser presented the harvest guideline for Pacific sardine to the Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team and the Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Panel in separate sessions at the CDFG Office in Los Alamitos. Moderate declines were reported for the third straight year; however, population abundance still remains relatively high (roughly 1.1 million mt, with a harvest guideline of approximately 119,000 mt) and slight declines in recent years can be explained by statistical variation. Also, recruitment estimates from the model indicate age-0 fish are lower in recent years, but analysts noted these estimates are largely derived from 'spotter plane' surveys that are subject to varying amounts of bias in any given year. Finally, given that sea-surface temperatures along the coast continue to fall, it is likely that the harvest guideline will be reduced substantially in future years, as this environmental parameter is tightly linked to sardine allocation within the current structure of the FMP.
- Richard Charter attended meetings in Seattle October 3-4 to discuss the use of the Scientific Computer System (SCS) and the Fisheries Scientific Computing System (FISCS) on the new fishery research vessels. The SCS is the system currently used on most of the NOAA Fisheries vessels. The FISCS is a system that works with the SCS and is used at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center for processing trawl catches. The Southeast Fisheries Science Center is implementing the FISCS on their ships. After reviewing both the AKFSC and NWFSC systems for processing the trawl data, it was decided that FISCS lacked the net mensuration data needed at both the AKFSC and NWFSC. The developers of FISCS are looking into the possibility of including net mensuration data in the system. The meeting participants also looked at full-size mock ups of the scientific labs for the AKFSC vessel and reviewed drawings of the lab layout for the NWFSC vessel.
Donna Dealy, Sam Herrick, and Dale Squires have recently visited Nick Vitalich, president of Chesapeake Fish Co., Dave Rudie, president of Catalina Offshore Products, and Craig Gio, president of Anthony's Seafoods, to learn more about the processing of HMS. They will return to Chesapeake Fish Company this week to hold further discussions and to tour the processing plant. Dealy and Squires continue to work on the cost-benefit analysis of the biological opinion on driftnet fishery and sea turtles.
October 2, 2001
- Paul Smith reports that a cruise funded by the U.S. Navy, Naval Research Laboratory and Office of Naval Research just ended last Saturday. The purpose of the cruise was to deploy a free vehicle pair of acoustic devices, a source and a receiver array at distances of 6 km and 15 km and measure the bioacoustic absorption spectrum between them at several frequencies. David Demer fabricated and assembled a portable sonar and sounder system to characterize the spatial array of fish and their abundance and Dimitry Abramenkoff sampled the fish in the vicinity of the acoustic array. The most abundant fish in the catch was northern anchovy of 128 mm fork length. The ships involved were the UNOLS R/V Sproul from SIO and the F/V Karen-Marie, a 20-meter commercial trawler out of Ventura.
- Russ Vetter reports that the PFMC-Science and Statistical Committee held a meeting in Santa Barbara, CA with the Science Panel of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary-Marine Ecological Reserves Working Group to review the decision-making process and scientific basis for the panel’s recommendation for 30 to 50% reserve size for meeting the fishery management and biodiversity goals established by the CINMS-MERWG. The meeting had two purposes: 1) The PFMC will need to approve portions of the CINMS Reserve Plan and 2) The PFMC is evaluating the incorporation of marine reserves as an additional tool for groundfish management and was interested in the scientific process used to assess the likely costs and benefits of different reserve scenarios. Vetter attended as a member of the Science Panel and Ray Conser participated as a member of the SSC.
- Dave Holts participated in the Catalina Classic Marlin tournament collecting size data and biopsy samples. Holts also obtained the missing catch and size data for marlin and swordfish at the Tuna Club.
- David Au and Susan Smith submitted revised chapters 3 and 4, plus longline options analyses for the 3rd draft HMS FMP.
September 26, 2001
- John Hunter reports that he has returned from co-chairing a workshop on measuring reproductive rates in fisheries in Bergen, Norway; Bev Macewicz also attended the workshop as a participant. The workshop was supported by the Institute of Marine Resources in Norway, and NORAD, and included researchers from Europe, South America, Africa and the U.S. The workshop resolved certain issues regarding the appropriate approaches to use for fecundity estimation and facilitated the development of a fishery manual for fecundity estimation.
- Hunter also reported that he was a co-investigator on a California Sea Grant proposal that was recently funded. The PI is David Checkley of Scripps Institution. The objectives of this work are: to investigate mechanisms underlying spawning habitat selection by sardine and anchovy, and, importantly, to determine the most cost effective way to monitor the abundance of zooplankton forage for planktivourous fishes in the CalCOFI surveys. The approach will be to relate a suite of indirect (Echo-integration, ADCP backscatter, optical plankton counter) to direct catches to determine the optimal combination of sensors.
- Hunter also notes that he, Dave Demer, and John Butler are co-investigators in a large proposal designed to study the fish populations of the Salton Sea. The project led by Stuart Hurlbert of SDSU, proposes to provide information on the reproductive output, demography and abundance of the four major fishes in the Salton Sea: bairdiella (Bairdiella icistia), orangemouth corvina (Cynoscion xanthulus) sargo (Anisotremus Davidsoni) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus x O. urolepis hornorum).
- The Survey Systems task, with the help of Rich Charter and Susie Jacobson, has conveyed updates and new time series to an international climate analysis group and Paul Smith has suggested adding fish production to the time series. The group includes Steven Hare and Nathan Mantua and they are currently analyzing the interactions of more than 100 environmental and fisheries time series. We have updated the macrozooplankton volume to April of this year and offered for addition the megalozooplankton volume and the total fish eggs. They have adopted the techniques for demonstrating a regime shift in 1977 for testing whether a regime shift occurred in 1989 and 1998. Regime shifts are usually not confirmed for a decade. Dr. Paul Smith has suggested that the 30+ species absolute recruitments used in the analyses should be supplemented by species productivity measures indexed by recruitment per unit spawner.
- Nancy Lo has finished an Administrative Report entitled 'Daily egg production and spawning biomass of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) off California in 2001.' The draft is in the review process.
- Nancy Lo is an invited speaker at the International Conference on Marine Bio-Resources and Environment, organized by the National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, ROC on October 3th. She will give seminars at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, and National Ocean College, Kaohsung, Taiwan, from Oct 4-14. Lo will then fly to Korea to attend the Annual Congress of the Korean Society of Fisheries Resources and visit National Fisheries Research and Developmental Institute, Busan, Korea from Oct 15-20th. Lo will give talks on subjects related to the latest development of ichthyoplankton surveys for epipelagic fishes off California.
September 18, 2001
- Sue Smith is working on revisions and incorporating new data into the analyses of the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) fishery management plan (FMP) regulatory options for the U.S. west coast-based high seas long fishery, and the industry-proposed longline fishery within the west coast EEZ. Information on protected species takes, some of which had been inadvertently omitted in the last draft version, is to be included in this version. An assessment is being made for the draft FMP regulatory document of the general risk these fisheries pose to protected species such as sea turtles and albatrosses. She has also been reviewing and updating various other sections of the draft FMP. Next week (Sept 18-20) the FMP Development Team will meet at Hubbs Sea World Research Institute. This will be the last Team meeting prior to when the final draft FMP is due to the Council and goes out for public review.
- Doug Prescott, Rand Rasmussen and Dave Holts participated on the second annual San Diego Marlin Club’s Offshore Innovational Tag and Release marlin tournament over the weekend. Four satellite tags provided by SWR and one tag from the Marlin Club were successfully deployed on striped marlin during the two days of tournament fishing. Three were tagged on Friday and two on Saturday. All were tagged 5 to 8 miles off the Newport/Laguna Beach area. The pop off tags record water temperature, depth and daylight period on an hourly basis and will pop off on January 4, 2002 and transmit that data to the Argos satellite. The skippers meeting and tournament "kick-off" on Thursday evening was attended by Dr. Rebecca Lent. Boats departed for the fishing grounds immediately after the skippers meeting.
- John Butler has organized the symposium for the annual CalCOFI meeting. The subject of the symposium will be restoring California's abalone populations. Ten speakers have submitted abstracts to the symposium. The invited speakers include Peter Cook, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Rowan Chick, New South Wales Fisheries, Australia; Alistair Hobday, CSIRO, Australia; Tetsuo Seki. National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Japan and P. Sierra Rodriguez, INP. Mexico. The CalCOFI symposium will be followed by a workshop to draft a rebuilding plan for white abalone.
- Dale Squires participated in the exam to advance to candidacy of an economics student in the economics department at UCSD. Squires, Susan Smith, David Au, and Norm Bartoo will participate in a meeting of the Highly Migratory Species Plan Development Team. Squires will also participate in the informal planning sessions of the South Pacific Tuna Treaty.
August 28, 2001
- Darlene Ramon and Dave Holts examined reproductive material from several large female mako shark taken during recent tournaments. None were found to be reproductively active. Doug Prescott and Dave Holts continue processing a large number of billfish tags and tag return cards as the billfish season builds and tournaments get underway.
- Doug Prescott has completed the August submission of the U.S. South Pacific Tuna Treaty data to the Forum Fisheries Agency (Honiara, Soloman Islands). The data consist of landings, logbooks, and size and species composition of catches from U.S. purse seiners operating in the central-western Pacific and received by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center between June 1 and August 1, 2001. The data were electronically submitted on August 15, 2001, as required by the Treaty.
- Dale Squires, Dave Au and Sue Smith attended the HMS Advisory Panel meeting in Los Alamitos, CA, on Sunday August 26 and Monday August 27 to discuss the HMS draft FMP and regulatory document.
August 21, 2001
- Russ Vetter is one of six reviewers asked to read and comment on the near-final draft of the State's Nearshore Fishery Management Plan. The Plan is part of the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) which includes shifting the primary responsibility for management of California's nearshore groundfishes from the Pacific Fishery Management Council to the State. The MLMA requires formal FMP's for nearshore stocks. Anyone who would like to see the Plan or comment on the provisions of the Plan can contact Russ Vetter.
Also, the final version of "A Recommendation for Marine Protected Areas in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary" a joint State-Federal two year effort will be presented to the California Fish and Game Commission for approval or further modification on Friday, August 24 in Santa Barbara, CA. The final recommendation is for 25% of a mix of habitats to be designated as no-take or limited take areas.
- Ray Conser participated in the fourteenth meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish (SCTB 14), August 8-16th, in Noumea, New Caledonia. Tuna/billfish scientists representing more than 20 nations and international fisheries organizations participated. Meetings of three working groups (WG) – Assessment Methods WG, Fishing Technology WG, and Statistics WG – preceded sessions of the five SCTB research groups (RG) – Albacore RG, Skipjack RG, Yellowfin RG, Bigeye RG, and Billfish & Bycatch WG.
Total catch of the four major tuna species during 2000 in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) was 1.9 million tons, the second highest annual catch on record. Catch trends in recent years for most species have exhibited generally increasing trends, in part, due to increasing efficiency of WCPO tuna fisheries, especially the surface fisheries.
Stock assessments were reviewed for all of the WCPO tuna fisheries, and consensus was reached regarding the status of stocks for each of the major stocks. A noteworthy extract from the consensus report is:
‘Recognizing the continuing concern of the SCTB about the status of yellowfin and bigeye tuna stocks in the WCPO, and recognizing the increasing catchability of juveniles of these species in surface fisheries, particularly those using FADs, SCTB 14 recommended that there be no increase in fishing mortality in surface fisheries on these species in the WCPO until uncertainty in the current assessments has been resolved’.
The Executive Summary of the SCTB 14 Report, as well as many of the working documents presented during the meeting, are available at: http://www.spc.int/OceanFish/Html/SCTB/SCTB14.
- The acoustic demography research cruise demonstration, by Dr. Dave Demer and Dr. Orest Diachok has been delayed about one month by a modification in the electronics for the free vehicle sound source. Contract trawling on the Karen Marie and the SIO vessel Sproul have been rescheduled. The new dates are September 11 to 21 for the Sproul and September 13 through 17 for the F/V Karen Marie.
- The Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) of the Pacific Management Council met in La Jolla last week. It was attended by four members of the Fisheries Division: Dr. Paul Crone, Dr. Paul Smith, Dr. John Hunter, and Dr. Sam Herrick. The main purpose of the meeting was to establish control rules for the management of the market squid fishery and to consider reallocating the north-south distribution of Pacific sardine as of October as required by the sardine harvest guidelines. Fisheries on the market squid are currently monitored by CPSMT but are actually managed by the California Department of Fish and Game Marine Region.
- Dr. Paul Smith completed his service on the Sea Grant Advisory Committee at last week's meeting. At these meetings, usually two per year, preliminary proposals are considered in March. Accepted proposals are invited for consideration in August and those accepted are funded starting in April of the following year.
- John Butler and John Wagner participated in an essential squid habitat cruise in Monterey during July 30-Aug 9. The cruise was a joint project with CDF&G (Annette Henry) on the R/V Mako. Seventeen transects and 39 sediment samples were taken. Squid eggs were observed from15 to 38 meters with the heaviest concentrations from 20-27 m depth. Twenty-four hour observations of squid spawning revealed that most spawning and mating took place during daylight hours 0700-1400. This is in contrast with observations made last year in La Jolla when squid spawned in the night from sunset to sunrise.
- Nancy Lo and David Smith (Department of Geological Survey) gave a one-day short course on Adaptive Cluster Sampling of Aquatic Populations on August 19th at the 131st annual meeting of American Fisheries Society in Phoenix, Arizona. A total of 27 people attended the course, the highest attendance among all short courses offered at the AFS meeting.
- On July 21-22, 2001, Friends of Tentacles and Fins, a team formed of staff at the Center and friends, participated for the second year in the Relay for Life, a 24-hour fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Team members: Bev Macewicz, Diane Foster, Eric Lynn, Sherri Charter, Erin and Damen LaCasella, Annette Henry, Marci and Carol Yaremko, and Jane and Mike Hubbard raised about $1200.00 for cancer research.
July 31, 2001
- John Hunter was on invitational travel last week in Chile participating in a workshop on biological conditions of jack mackerel in the spawning oceanic habitat.
- Al Coan has submitted two papers to the 14th meeting of the Standing Committee on Tunas and Billfish in Noumea, New Caledonia, August 9-16. The first paper is coauthored by David Itano of the University of Hawaii and is titled, "Factors that may have affected U.S. purse seine catch rates in the central-western Pacific Ocean: an examination of fishing strategy and effective fishing effort." Activities of fifteen vessels that have operated under the South Pacific Tuna Treaty in 1988 to 2000 are examined to find changes in fishing strategy that have lead to increases in efficiency. The second paper, coauthored by John Childers, David Hamm, Russell Ito and Bert Kikkawa, is the U.S. national report titled, "Summary of U.S. fisheries for highly migratory species in the central-western Pacific, 1996-2000." Catches, bycatches, effort distributions and size frequency of the catches from the U.S. purse seine, troll, handline, pole and line and longline fisheries are reviewed for the 1996-2000 period and an outlook for the 2001 season is presented. Since Al Coan will not be at the meeting, David Itano will present the first paper to the Technology Working Group and Gary Sakagawa or Ray Conser will present the U.S. national report to the plenary session of the SCTB. Both papers are posted on the SPC web site for SCTB14.
- After three years as a NRC fellow Vince Buonaccorsi is leaving to take up an assistant professorship in Pennsylvania. Vince has completed studies of copper, grass, gopher, black and yellow, widow and bocaccio rockfish. Vince will be continuing work on Puget Sound stocks of brown rockfish via a contract. We’ll miss him.
- Larry Robertson has been battling problems associated with the red tide and seawater quality in the aquarium. A few rockfish were lost but the red tide is now subsiding. Larry Robertson and Mike Maxwell are rearing squid hatched from eggs collected in the wild. They are remarkable little critters (the squid not Larry and Mike).
- John Butler and John Wagner are conducting a cruise in Monterey Bay aboard the Cal Fish and Game boat R/V Mako. They are examining the spawning habitat of the market squid. They recently acquired a trackpoint system for the ROV which gives a precise real-time geolocation to the ROV. The trackpoint system should make quantitative surveys much easier and increase precision.
July 17, 2001
- John Hunter reports that our annual Program Review was last Wednesday. La Jolla management and staff members attended as well as Rebecca Lent and Svein Fougner from the SWR. We produced an 88 page document that included: staff reports, 46 figures and bibliographies for 2000 and 2001.
- The David Starr Jordan returned to San Diego Saturday evening completing the shark/juvenile rockfish cruise. We were able to complete most of the shark longline stations and 63 ten-meter MOCNESS tows. The rockfish distribution looked very similar to last year’s cruise. The results of the shark survey: In 49 longline sets that totaled 7,355 hooks, 198 shortfin mako, 260 blue and 6 common thresher sharks were captured and examined. 170 mako were injected with OTC for age and growth studies and blood was drawn from nearly 50 sharks in order to examine physical condition at time of release for survival studies. CPU for mako and blue sharks was 0.016 and 0.02 per 100 hook-hours respectively. A short 20 minute video of the shark longline fishing operation was made and should be available early next month. Although the cruise was cut short 2 days due to mechanical trouble on the Jordan, 95% of the shark survey was completed. The success of the survey was made possible by the outstanding efforts of the ships officers and crew.
- La Jolla members of the HMS FMP Development Team are working to prepare for next week's HMS Team meeting here in La Jolla. Sue Smith is presently working on an analysis of the industry's proposal to allow a limited entry (10 vessel) longline fishery.
- Dale Squires and Donna Dealy attended the Division Program Review and HMS Senior Scientist Review. Dr. Mahfuz Ahmed, Director of the Policy Division, International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) visited Squires for 4 days to discuss economics. Au, Bartoo, Dealy, Herrick, Smith, and Squires will attend the HMS Plan Development Team meeting next week in the Large Conference Room.
July 3, 2001
- Dale Squires reports that the HMS Plan Development Team met June 20-23. Prior to this meeting, on June 13, the PDT presented the second draft of its Fishery Management Plan to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, Science and Statistical Committee, and Advisory Subpanel. The Pacific Fishery Management Council at the June 13 council meeting adopted a revised FMP schedule and gave direction to the PDT for preparation of the third draft of the FMP. The new schedule calls for adoption of the draft FMP for public review at the November 2001 council meeting and adoption of the final FMP at the March 2002 meeting. The Team will present a revised draft to the HMS Advisory Subpanel in August and update to the Council in September. Two documents will be prepared: a basic framework FMP that meets the requirements of the MSFCMA and authorizes actions to be taken, and a document which specifies and analyzes in detail the minimum initial regulations that must be implemented when the FMP is implemented.
The Council directed the Team to review current state regulations to determine which ones to include in the initial regulation package. There was a discussion of this process. The Team needs to decide which state regulations need to be applied in the EEZ as federal regulations at the outset, and then analyze those measures. The FMP could acknowledge that there are a variety of existing state measures which are satisfactory and will remain in place. If state regulations are inconsistent, a federal regulation may be necessary. (There was a question about deferring to state regulations which may not be consistent with federal law, e.g., does the California drift gillnet limited entry program discriminate against residents of other states? Since eligibility criteria are not based on citizenship, this program is not discriminatory.)
It is not necessary to review every state measure for consistency with federal law. A general statement that the Council has examined state regulations and concluded that they are adequate will suffice. If this situation changes, then regulatory amendments will be proposed in the future pursuant to the framework process. If federal regulations are proposed initially, these regulations will need to be analyzed with respect to consistency with applicable law and the FMP. Where there is a federal requirement (e.g., bycatch), the FMP must address this requirement and may require federal regulations, but the Council could decide that existing state and federal regulations are sufficient.
The FMP and the regulations will apply to all vessels which fish inside the EEZ on stocks covered by the FMP, and to vessels which fish inside and beyond the EEZ on stocks covered by the FMP and land in west coast ports.
Reorganization of FMP: The Team agreed to develop 3 lists: 1) necessary elements of a basic framework FMP (and needed revisions to the current FMP), 2) issues which need to be addressed in the initial regulation package, and 3) issues which will be deferred to future plans or regulatory amendments.
FMP With Framework Provisions: Much of the existing second draft of the FMP (revised as appropriate) will remain as elements of the basic FMP with some fixed measures and framework provisions for setting and adjusting flexible measures. Chapter 8 will be revised substantially to remove specific management measures that are not fixed elements of the FMP. The Team listed fixed elements of the FMP as follows:
Management authority (Federal FMP) and application of authority\
Management unit species $Control rules
Essential fish habitat $Framework procedures (including authorization to develop wide range of measures)
Treaty Indian fishing
Bycatch (general authorization to take actions plus standardized reporting requirements)
Protected species (general authorization to take actions and collect data)
Legal gears and process for allowing new gears
One option will make pelagic longline gear legal (with restrictions as laid out in the regulations); the other option will not include longlines as legal gear (gear not authorized and no landings allowed) . Specific longline fishery options will be addressed in the regulation document.
Exempted fishing permit process
Shark finning law
Discussion of precautionary quotas and unilateral management
Other applicable law
- Ron Lynn submitted a manuscript entitled "Variability in the spawning habitat of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) off southern and central California" to Fisheries Oceanography. The results of his study show that acoustic backscatter, as measured by the ADCP, reveals patterns of zooplankton density that are useful in defining the offshore and southern boundary of sardine spawning habitat. Temperature remains useful in defining the inshore and northern bounds but its absolute value is seen to vary by a degree between various years.
- Russ Vetter and Vince Buonaccorsi will be attending the American Society of Ichthyologist and Herpetologists (ASIH) annual meeting at Pennsylvania State University this week. They will be presenting papers on conservation genetics and management of near shore rockfishes.
June 26, 2001
- John Hunter reported that Chris Elvidge, John Dietz, and Jeff Safron (NOAA, National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO) Annette Henry (CDFG), and Michael Maxwell (NRC) met today regarding their joint work on the use of satellites for detecting squid fishing lights. The Boulder team has completed a monumental task of analyzing the last ten years of archive satellite tapes to produce a time series consisting of over 2,000 images. These data are being used to provide an index of fishing effort for squid; no other records of fishing effort exist for the past ten years.
- On June 18, the NOAA ship David Starr Jordan started the 30-day shark/juvenile rockfish recruitment cruise. They have reported seeing the same pattern as last year with most of the rockfish larvae on the southern half of the stations and few rockfish larvae in the Channel Island area. They have only found Loligo squid larvae in a couple areas. The shark longlining is going well. They reported catching one 9-foot blue shark. Sunday night they had to stop work to go to Santa Barbara to let a crew member off because of a family emergency. They are expected back in San Diego on the morning of July 4 to exchange personnel for the second leg which will be from July 5 to July 16.
- The Pacific Fishery Management Council met June 11-15 in Burlingame, CA. Dale Squires attended the council meeting and Ray Conser attended the meeting of the SSC’s HMS Subcommittee. The Council and its advisory bodies reviewed a comprehensive Draft Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Highly Migratory Species. The Council revised the schedule for adopting the HMS FMP and further defined the organization of FMP content. The revised schedule includes a status update at the September Council meeting, release of a draft FMP for public review at the November Council meeting, public hearings during January 2002 and February 2002, and final adoption of the FMP at the March 2002 Council meeting. Following the Council meeting, the HMS Plan Development Team met June 20-22 in La Jolla (along with representatives of constituent groups) to begin an ambitious process of revising the draft FMP to reflect Council and advisory body comments, following the tight time schedule specified by the Council.
- The Fisheries Division's Advanced Survey Technologies Program (AST) has been recently bolstered with two new members and a laboratory under construction. Dr. Joe Warren, a recent graduate of MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a post-doctoral fellow supported by the Office of Naval Research, has joined AST for the next year-and-a-half. Joe will be applying his expertise in engineering and zooplankton acoustics to multi-instrumented buoy-arrays for remotely assessing ecosystems. Stephanie Conti, an Engineer/Physicist in the Master's Program at the University of Paris 6, is working with AST on the development of a new multi-scattering method for multi-frequency target strength estimation. The laboratory, being built in the basement of SWFSC, will soon include acoustical test tanks and buoy construction and testing.
- Last week Sue Smith learned that another leopard shark she tagged in 1979 was recently recaptured after being at liberty for 22 years (she is currently preparing a manuscript describing another tetracycline-injected shark at liberty 20 years, captured in 1999). The angler who made the recent recapture did not keep the vertebrae of the shark, but the growth information from this recapture should be valuable in any case.
- Nancy Lo finished a draft on the modeling of the escapement rate of fecundity, defined as the ratio of the total number of eggs released to the expected number of eggs released during the life time without fishing mortality of market squid. The escapement rate of fecundity of market squid from market sampling was one of the parameters recommended to be used for fishery management. The model follows a cohort of spawners assuming the eggs are released exponentially and the mortality curve is also an exponential function.
- Lo examined the relationship between the escapement rate and the fishing mortality for various values of mature mortality rates (m) and egg release rates (v). The escapement rate declines as the fishing mortality increases. When the natural morality is low, the egg release rates have a strong impact on the relationship between escapement rates and fishing mortality. When the natural morality is high, then the egg release rates have little impact on the relationship between escapement rates and the fishing mortality.
- Lo also examined the field cumulative egg escapement rates, which seem to match best with the egg release rate of v=0.3/day and natural mortality of 0.5/day. Here it was assumed that all squid die after 7 days of spawning. The average time spent in the spawning grounds is estimated to be between one and 1.5 days.
- John Butler has submitted a paper entitled "Biology and Population Dynamics of Cowcod (Sebastes levis) in the Southern California Bight during 1916-1997" to the Fishery Bulletin. The co-authors are Larry Jacobson, Geoff Moser and Tom Barnes.
June 12, 2001
- According to John Butler, we have been invited by NOAA Environmental Services Data and Information Management (ESDIM) to provide a full proposal to create a biological and environmental database containing the market squid, (Loligo opalescens), paralarvae. The task is to examine several thousand manta net (near surface samples) for the incidence and size composition of market squid paralarvae for the years 1978-future. This proposal will be prepared from existing data on squid paralarvae in contemporary surveys. The final proposal is due in August.
- Eric Lynn of the Genetics and Physiology group has returned from a historic billfish cruise aboard the R/V Townsend Cromwell. The cruise was a collaborative effort with Robert Humphreys of the Honolulu Lab and Mike Musyl of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) to study larval billfishes in surface slicks. With the assistance of Mike, Eric was able to extract, PCR amplify, restriction digest, and run RFLP gels onboard the ship. They were able to identify previously unidentifiable billfish larvae so that sampling efforts could be directed in close to real-time (1 day). Efforts to refine and speed the process are the main objectives for future cruises. This is believed to be the first time that the whole process of DNA identification of larval fishes has been carried out at sea.
- Last week, Sue Smith prepared with Steve Crooke (CDFG, Long Beach) a description of the biology and fisheries for dorado, (Coryphaena hippurus), for the book California's Living Marine Resources and Their Utilization. The book will serve as California's Status of the Fisheries Report, mandated by the Marine Life Management Act of 1998, as well as an update of the 1992 'blue book.' She is also preparing some briefing materials for the next HMS plan development team meeting next week, and working on a shark age validation manuscript.
- John Hunter, Al Coan and Dale Squires of the FRD and Norm Bartoo of the Director’s Office attended a planning meeting in Honolulu on June 6 and 7. The planning session looked at the strategic planning document (developed in 1998) for HMS, deleted projects that have been completed and added new projects that will be completed in the future. Also discussed were Honolulu Laboratory research on turtles, monk seals and coral reefs.
- Dave Holts began prepping for the shark survey and reviewed a paper for the Journal Marine and Freshwater Research last week.
May 30, 2001
- Paul Crone gave a presentation at the 52nd Tuna Conference held recently at Lake Arrowhead. He discussed how error (uncertainty) associated with biological time series (e.g., North Pacific albacore age distributions) should best be accommodated in age-structured assessment models.
- Doug Prescott presented a poster co-authored by Gary Sakagawa and Al Coan summarizing the 2000 U.S. central-western Pacific purse seine fishery at the Tuna Conference last week. The most significant change in the fishery for 2000 is reduced fishing by the fleet in response to low prices for cannery tuna, especially for fish less than 7.5 lbs. A majority of the fleet stayed in port during the last part of the season and some vessels switched to fishing school fish instead of FAD fishing to increase their catches of tunas greater than 7.5 lbs.
- Ray Conser and Paul Crone are currently attending an advanced workshop on AD Model Builder/MULTIFAN-CL that is being held here at the Center for two weeks. David Fournier(Otter Research, Ltd) is conducting the training, which is being sponsored by IATTC and the SWFSC. Dr. Fournier has developed state-of-the-art modeling approaches for evaluating the status of exploited fish populations. This workshop is addressing advanced topics for building efficient code for modeling fish stocks that are highly migratory. During this workshop, Ray and Paul will begin development of a population-wide, age-structured assessment model for north Pacific albacore—this model will be constructed in collaboration with Japanese fishery scientists to ensure available data sources are accurate and represent the best available information.
- Two weeks ago Paul Smith served as the representative of the Coastal Marine Pelagics Management Team on the first market squid stock assessment of resources (STAR). He served with another member of the Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Panel, Heather Munro, a visiting population modeler, and Larry Jacobson. The STAR was chaired by Ray Conser. One large portion of the testimony came from another member of our group, Nancy C-H Lo, who worked on a biomathematical team including John Hunter and Beverly Macewicz. Mike Maxwell, an NRC postdoctoral fellow also prepared work on the population fishery modeling. In terms of innovation, we saw more novel scientific material than ever before owing to the sub-annual life cycle of the local market squid, Loligo opalescens.
- Steven Bograd (PFEL) was at the La Jolla Lab last Wednesday through Friday and worked with Ron Lynn to complete a final draft of a paper, "A climate-driven physical mechanism for plankton decline in the California Current"; along with co-author J. McGowan, SIO and to initiate a study of the 1976-77 regime shift in the California Current in regard to physical characteristics and biological responses. This study will use the entire 50-plus years of CalCOFI data.
- Sue Smith made final corrections on two sections (thresher shark, leopard shark) for the publication "California's Living Marine Resources and Their Utilization," and returned these to the editor. Smith is also working with Al Coan in compiling summaries of observer data for six longline trips that transited to and from Hawaii/U.S. West Coast ports between 1994-2000. These data will be presented at the next HMS plan development team meeting in June. She is also working on a manuscript describing an age-validated leopard shark that had been at liberty for nearly 20 years.
May 15, 2001
- Russ Vetter reports that the Genetics Physiology and Habitat Group has submitted a manuscript to the journal Evolution on incipient sympatric speciation in the black-and-yellow and gopher Rockfish species complex.
- The genetics group is receiving a contract from CDFG to provide genetic analyses of stock structure of nearshore rockfishes to be managed under the new Marine Life Management Act.
- The genetics group has requested additional samples of bocaccio from the upcoming triennial groundfish survey to complete a population genetic analysis in anticipation of questions raised by the impending petition to list bocaccio under the ESA.
- Sue Smith participated in a meeting of the North Pacific Albatross Working Group, which was held by conference call on May 14 . Representatives from the USFWS, NMFS (Alaska, Hawaii, and Seattle), Sea Grant, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Canadian Wildlife Service, and USGS participated. One of the main purposes of this group is to facilitate exchange of information and pertinent data on the conservation, management and protection of albatrosses in the North Pacific region. Smith is participating as an NMFS member of the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Plan Development Team (PDT), which has an interest in seabird bycatch and mitigation in HMS fisheries. The Albatross Working Group is still in its formative stages; at this meeting most of the discussion focused on the structure, organization, and function of the group itself, rather than on information exchange or providing recommendations for research, management or monitoring. During the meeting, Smith presented a brief update on the progress of the U.S. West Coast Draft Fishery Management Plan(FMP) for HMS. She also presented some preliminary summary analyses of albatross bycatch data taken from observed high-seas longline vessels fishing east of 135W and landing in Hawaii or West Coast ports. Smith and Steve Crooke (PDT co-chair) are working with HMS data manager, Al Coan, to examine various data sets relating to high-seas longlining adjacent to the U.S. West Coast EEZ.
- Al Coan completed summarizing the U.S. North Pacific longline logbook and observer data for 1994 to 2000. The summary uses data for vessel trips that fished east of 135°W longitude and calculates catches, discards, and CPUE for target and incidental species catch and protected species interactions (mainly turtles and albatross). Only six observer trips were available for summaries of data on protected species, while 276 California logbooks and 33 Hawaii logbooks were used to summarize data on target and incidental species catches. The results were provided to Steve Crooke, Susan Smith, and David Au for use in the HMS FMP process.
May 1, 2001
The NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan cruise 200104 located the northern boundary of the sardine spawning at Monterey Bay. Biologist Beverly Macewicz boarded the Jordan to process adult samples on the way back to San Diego, but gale force winds and seas above 12 feet have stymied the deployment of the trawl or the MOCNESS sampler. The volunteer fisher effort to collect offshore adults has also been stalled by the weather but we would like to thank Joe Cappuccio, Orlando Amoroso, and Sal Tringali for offering to help. The progress and daily reporting of the map of sardine eggs was tracked locally and for observers around the world on a Web page set up for the purpose of maximizing the chance that commercial purse seiners could provide samples of adult fish.
April 24, 2001
- John Hunter reports that a flurry of e-mails were produced in the last few days concerning misunderstandings regarding allocations of funds from the NMFS Fishery Oceanography Initiative FATE. FATE started as a result of an issue presentation on fishery oceanography Hunter made for the Center Director’s meeting in Seattle some years ago. The central focus of FATE was to develop a set of annual ecological indicators indicative of major environmental and biological shifts affecting stocks in the Pacific, which were to be based upon existing data streams and new or enhanced surveys. A key promise of FATE was to deliver information useful for understanding the dynamics of Pacific stocks from the very beginning. Hunter expressed the hope that the FATE concepts survive the final allocations of the funds in FY 02.
- Hunter reports he will be attending a CITES meeting in Silver Springs, MD convened by Pamela Mace during the period that the SWR/SWFSC meeting takes place May 2-3.
- Hunter attended meetings and workshops in Swakopmund, Namibia, April 1-6, as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the BENEFIT program (a fisheries research program involving the countries of South Africa, Namibia, and Angola). The program is supported by aid missions from Norway and Germany. Plans to implement the World Bank, LME program for these countries are well underway. It was hoped that BENEFIT would function as the marine fishery science and monitoring wing of the LME program, but because BENEFIT is not, nor apparently will not be, a legal entity and cannot receive World Bank funds, the extent of BENEFIT’s role in the LME program is unclear.
- On April 5 Dave Demer, Dale Roberts (Santa Cruz Lab) and Adam Jenkins (AERD) calibrated the Simrad EK500 echosounder aboard the NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan in preparation for the April CalCOFI and May/June juvenile rockfish cruises. Despite concurrent ship modifications, Captain Scott Hill and his crew were very helpful in making this an expedient and successful calibration. The new 120 kHz transceiver card has corrected the receiver sensitivity and phase detection problems encountered with the original transceiver.
- A study of avoidance reactions of fish to underwater radiated noise from survey vessels is being conducted by Chris Wilson (AFSC) and David Demer. Dave has added a passive acoustical two- element vertical array to MACE's active-acoustical buoy system. The buoy is placed over a fish aggregation and continues to record acoustical backscatter from the fish while the ship leaves the area and then makes multiple passes of the buoy at the standard survey speed (11-12 kts). The passive acoustical system records the power spectra and intensities of ship noises as it passes, using phase differences to estimate the ship-to-buoy range at the closest point of approach. Demer and Wilson will present some results of this study at the ICES / Fisheries Acoustics Science and Technology Working Group meeting in Seattle this week.
- Underwater sounds generated by Thunnus albacares and Thunnus thynnus were recorded and studied by Scott Allen (AST/University of New Hampshire) and David Demer to explore the possibility of passive-acoustical detection. Tuna vocalizations were audio- and video-recorded at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, and Maricultura del Norte in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico. Results of this study are being prepared for poster presentation at the upcoming Tuna Conference.
- Stephane Conti, a graduate student from Paris, has joined the Advanced Survey Technologies Group to work on a new method for measuring target strengths (TSs) and/or numerical abundance of pelagic animals in a highly reverberant tank. The method could be used to make TS measurements of live animals in shipboard tanks during acoustical surveys, for more accurate conversion of echo integration data to fish abundance. The method may also find application in fish abundance estimation in closed-systems such as aquaculture farms or small lakes. Demer is seeking funding for investigation and application of this promising method.
- John Childers and Al Coan summarized fishery statistics for North and South Pacific albacore that were presented by Gary Sakagawa at the U.S.-Canada albacore tuna treaty negotiations, April 10-11 in Seattle. The summary included a compilation of U.S. catches, fishing effort and logbook coverage rates since 1981. U.S. and Canadian logbooks were also analyzed to indicate the amounts of U.S. catch and effort in the Canadian EEZ and the amount of Canadian catch and effort in the U.S. EEZ. This information will be used to negotiate continued Canadian access to U.S. waters and U.S. access to Canadian waters.
- John Butler completed a summary of age and growth studies of market squid conducted for the California Department of Fish and Game. Butler recently returned from a cruise on the R/V Mako investigating white abalone. The cruise was cut short when a sea lion bit down on the ROV umbilical, shorting several conducting wires.
- Rich Charter has created a Web page that is tracking the progress of this year’s sardine spawning pattern as it unfolds day by day (http://lasker.ucsd.edu/april2001.htm) on the current ongoing CalCOFI survey. The map is updated each day at about 1500-1600 hours with the last 24 hours of data collected by the David Starr Jordan along the track line. The data are also plotted on a recent satellite temperature map provided by the CoastWatch program. You can compare this year’s pattern to past year’s at the same Web site.
- Last week, with the help of Michelle De La Fuente, Sue Smith completed revisions for Appendix A, Appendix C, Chapter 4, and parts of Chapters 3, 8 and 9 for the second draft FMP for U.S. West Coast-Based Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species. She also passed along to editor Larry Six the final 30 essential fish habitat maps created by Rand Rasmussen to be included in Appendix A, and also artwork created by Roy Allen for the cover of the FMP and for illustrating the management unit species and their distributions.
- Dr. Ciaran Kelly (Marine Fisheries Services Division, Marine Institute, Ireland) visited the Fisheries Division on April 13 and exchanged research ideas with Nancy Lo, Paul Smith, Richard Charter and Bev Macewicz after Dr. Kelly participated in the CalCOFI cruise from April 6 -12. The purpose of Dr. Kelly's participation was to get familiar with CalCOFI ichthyoplankton survey protocol and procedures, in particular the adaptive allocation sampling procedures for fish eggs, because the Marine Institute just began their own first ichthyoplankton survey in 2000. This activity was part of a joint research project between NOAA and the Marine Institute, which was designed during a workshop in Athlone, Ireland, May, 2000.
- Nancy Lo participated at a career day at SDSU sponsored by the San Diego Chapter, American Statistical Association on April 14. Approximately100 college students attended this event. Lo was on the panel discussing what it is like to be a statistician. Other panel members were statisticians from the pharmaceutical industry, academia and professional sports.
April 10, 2001
- The Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Sacramento during the week of April 2nd. The Council’s SSC and the full Council adopted terms of reference for the upcoming squid stock assessment review (STAR) panel. The STAR Panel venue will be at the SWFSC La Jolla Lab during May 14-17th. Ray Conser, representing the SSC, will co-chair the review panel. Approximately ten working papers are in preparation for the review and will be distributed to the STAR Panel by May 1st. All working paper authors (SWFSC & CDF&G) will present their paper(s) to the Panel and will be available throughout the week to consult with the panel, provide additional information & data, and to carry out additional analyses, as needed. A draft STAR Panel report will be available for distribution prior to the Council’s June meeting in San Francisco.
- Sam Herrick and Kevin Hill (CDF&G) also attended the SSC and the full Council meeting where they presented the Coastal Pelagics Species (CPS) Management Team’s analyses of harvesting capacity and limited entry permit transferability in the CPS finfish fishery. The Council agreed with the Team’s preferred options for a harvesting capacity goal and for transferability of permits. Harvesting capacity in the CPS finfish fishery will be established at the current level of the 65 permitted vessels. Capacity will be related to a vessel’s gross registered tons, so aggregate capacity will be pegged at the gross tonnage equivalent for the current 65-vessel fleet.
- Currently, finfish limited entry permits are non-transferable. This will be changed to allow a vessel to transfer its permit, on a one-for-one basis, to a vessel of comparable gross tonnage (e.g. the vessel to be transferred to is not in excess of "X" percent of the original vessel’s GRT). A vessel wishing to increase its capacity more than "X" percent would be subject to a two-for-one exchange which involves surrendering a permit if the vessel to be transferred to is in excess of the capacity allowance. Key to the Council’s decision regarding capacity and transferability was the recognition that CPS vessels participate in a number of different fisheries depending on resource and market conditions, and that allowing permits to be transferred would lead to optimum harvesting capacity and fleet configuration across all CPS vessels’ fishing opportunities.
- Dr. Michael R. Maxwell has accepted the 2001-2002 NRC Post-Doctoral Senior Fellow with the Fisheries Resources Division. He will work on the modeling aspects relating the biology of the market squid, Loligo opalescens, to the fishing mortality and necessary management measures to ensure sustainable yield. This is the richest fishery in the state of California and the life cycle is the shortest of all the fisheries resources monitored by our division.
- Dr. David Fournier (Otter Research, Ltd) will visit the La Jolla Lab for a 2-week period beginning May 29th. During the first week (May 29 - June 1), he will conduct an IATTC-SWFSC sponsored advanced workshop on AD Model Builder Programming Methods. During the following week (June 4-8), Dr. Fournier will consult with Ray Conser, Paul Crone, and Yukio Takeuchi (NRIFSF, Japan) on a joint research effort to develop a new stock assessment model for north Pacific albacore.
- Chuck Oliver participated in a side scan sonar survey last week off Point Loma aboard a Navy SWATH boat. The vessel, equipped with a Klein Associates 5250 sonar system, is under consideration for use in obtaining bottom imagery for the Center's white abalone effort. Oliver also worked on a FY2003 initiative for Protected Species funding for white abalone research.
- The David Starr Jordan departed last Friday on the spring CalCOFI cruise with Dave Griffith, Ron Dotson and Amy Hays aboard. The original sailing date was delayed five days due to delays in completing the dockside maintenance period. The end of the cruise has been extended to May 3. They have picked up sardine eggs in the area of the Sixty-mile Bank.
April 3, 2001
- John Hunter is in Swakopmund, Namibia attending the BENEFIT Resources meeting of the Scientific Advisory Panel. BENEFIT sponsors research on marine natural resources in the Benguela Current which includes the countries of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa.
- Dave Holts participated in the 47th Annual Science and Engineering Fair as one of the judges for the sweepstakes entrys last Wednesday.
- Russ Vetter reports that the recent Marine Reserves cruise aboard the Scripps research vessel R.G. Sproul was a great success. The cruise was a joint effort to examine and map fish and squid spawning habitats within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and State ecological reserves. The cruise combined the side-scan sonar expertise of Guy Cochrane and Nicole Nasby from USGS, the ROV expertise of John Butler and John Wagner, and the dive survey talents of Vetter, Cindy Taylor, John Hyde and three volunteer divers. Over 400 fin clips of nearshore rockfishes were obtained for genetic studies of population structure.
March 27, 2001
- Chuck Oliver posted the revised Fisheries Resources Division Web site last week at http://swfsc.ucsd.edu/frd. The site provides details on the Division's organization and staff, current research activities and progress, and access to selected reports. The site's content was compiled from contributions by Division staff, and will be updated as events occur.
- Last week, Paul Smith, Rich Charter, Geoff Moser, and Susie Jacobson evaluated CalCOFI data records of near shore species as they relate to essential fish habitat. The CalCOFI ichthyoplankton survey database contains 659 stations within 2 nautical miles of mainland and island coastlines and another 800 stations within 2–4 nautical miles of these coastlines. These identified samples will be a valuable resource in evaluating essential fish habitats in the nearshore regions.
- The manuscript "Using a continuous egg sampler for ichthyoplankton surveys: application to the daily egg production of Pacific sardine off California" by Nancy Lo, John Hunter and Rich Charter has been accepted for publication in the Fishery Bulletin 99 (4).
- The manuscript "Temporal variation of seasonality of egg production and the spawning biomass of Pacific anchovy, Engraulis japonica, in the southern waters of Korea in 1983 - 1994" by Jin Yeong Kim of National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Pusan, Korea, and Nancy Lo has been accepted for publication by Fisheries Oceanography.
- Nancy Lo was assisting Darrin Bergen of CDFG with Y2K problems in processing aerial survey data of jack mackerel to obtain time series of estimates of relative abundance from 1963 - 2000.
- Dave Holts sent 400 billfish tags to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii for the Rolex/IGFA Invitational Marlin Tournament.
March 20, 2001
- John Hunter reported that a meeting was held last week to develop a local team to prepare for the star panel review of the market squid assessment requested by PFMC. The review will be held in La Jolla, May 14-16 and shall focus on options for a market squid msy and monitoring and managing the fishery. The review team will contain U.S. and International experts on squid population dynamics.
- The new CoastWatch Operation Manager, Darrel Lawrence, reported for duty on Monday, March 19. He replaces Ray Slanina who has moved on to a job at the SeaSpace Corporation. Darrel formerly worked at the Oceanographic Data Facility at SIO as a CTD data processor.
- Ron Lynn and co-author Steven Bograd have completed and mailed the final version of their paper "Dynamic evolution of the 1997-99 El Nino-La Nina cycle in the southern California Current System". It has been accepted for a special issue of Progress in Oceanography.
- Al Coan has finished a paper entitled "The 2000 U.S. tropical tuna purse seine fishery in the central-western Pacific." The paper is coauthored by Gary Sakagawa, Doug Prescott, Gordon Yamasaki of NMFS, Peter Williams of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia, and Karl Staich of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands. Gary Sakagawa will be presenting the paper at the annual meeting of the Parties to the South Pacific Regional Tuna Treaty in Apia, Samoa. Highlights of the paper include; 1) a difficult season for the fleet with a record low catch of 125,000 mt, a result of a slow down in fishing as the U.S. fleet attempted to increase prices paid for tuna by canners by remaining in port for 4 months of the season, 2) a switch to fishing less FADs and more free-swimming school fish in an attempt to increase catches of larger fish and more yellowfin tuna which command a higher price, 3) an overall decrease in the fleet’s performance as CPUE decreased from 34 mt/day fished in 1999 to 27 mt/day fished in 2000, and average days at-sea per trip increased from 42 in 1999 to 56 in 2000, probably due to the decreased efficiency of setting on free-swimming schools.
- Geoff Moser participated in the PICES/CoML/IPRC Workshop on "Impact of Climate Variability on Observation and Prediction of Ecosystem and Biodiversity Changes in the North Pacific." It was held March 7-9, 2001, at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu. The primary focus of the workshop was to discuss existing time series of observations in regional and basin areas of the North Pacific and to evaluate their potential for describing and understanding causes of climate and species changes in various regions of the North Pacific. The workshop consisted of several plenary sessions and four discussion groups: 1) Physical/chemical oceanography and climate, 2) Phytoplankton, zooplankton, micronekton, benthos, 3) Fish, squid, crabs and shrimp, and 4) Highly migratory fish, birds, and mammals. Geoff Moser presented information on the CalCOFI ichthyoplankton time series in Group 3, coordinated by Anne Hallowed (AFSC). The workshop provided the opportunity to discuss available North Pacific time series with scientists from North Pacific Rim countries and introduce the CalCOFI ichthyoplankton time series to scientists unfamiliar with it. David Checkley, SIO, participated in Group 1 and presented information about CalCOFI sampling techniques, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. Steven Bograd (PFEL) attended Group 1 and presented information on the CalCOFI oceanographic time series. The workshop succeeded in: 1) identifying available time series and time series gaps for the major ecosystem components in the North Pacific, 2) establishing mechanisms for making these time series available, 3) proposing a plan for PICES to facilitate and coordinate the collection and analysis of information for producing North Pacific-wide ecosystem status reports.
March 13, 2001
- The Pacific sardine population has recovered to such an extent that we need contemporary data on the stock. Rich Charter, David Griffith, and Ron Dotson have prepared procedures to guide sardine fishers to a poorly-sampled offshore and northern portion of the sardine stock. Fishers from San Pedro and Monterey have volunteered ship time and sampling effort to assist in the revision of the sardine population model in a meeting in Ensenada in November organized and chaired by John Hunter. The address of this Web page http//:lasker.ucsd.edu/april2001.htm contains the projected position of the R/V David Starr Jordan at noon of each day of the April cruise and maps of the past four spring cruises of egg samples underlaid by the sea surface temperature. During the cruise the Web site will contain the actual position of the R/V Jordan, egg abundance by position, and will link to marine weather projections and current sea state and temperature information for the Jordan. The Web site also contains a cruise announcement with detailed plans.
- Nancy Lo and Bev Macewicz have designed a data sheet so that samples taken by the commercial volunteer fishers can be recorded and preserved for further data analysis and eventual inclusion in the updated sardine population model.
- Lo is developing an estimation procedure for the standing stock of fecundity of squid by commercial catch based on samples taken from marketing sampling in the past. Hopefully, using the measurement of muscle density and ovary and oviduct weight, we can estimate the standing stock of fecundity, which in turn can be used to estimate the escapement fecundity, which may be useful in management of the squid population.
- David Au, Sam Herrick, Susan Smith, and Dale Squires attended the HMS session of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and two days of meetings of the HMS Advisory Panel as well in Portland, OR last week. The first draft of the HMS FMP was presented to the Council and feed-back received. The June meeting of the Council is the anticipated date for formal submission of the first draft and for SSC review.
Au briefed the Panel members on the results of the assessment work on common thresher being done with Christina Show. The results from a more representative sampling scheme indicate this shark may have recovered more than previously thought and that sustainable catches of about 400 mt may be possible. This work will be continued for shortfin mako that is also a concern in the FMP. These assessments are based on present configuration of the driftnet fleet - all of which may change as a result of the coming turtle protection measures.
- Squires is also working with independent contractor Yongil Jeon on their analysis of Western and Central Pacific Ocean productivity and fishing capacity of purse seiners for the USTF and for the SPTT negotiations.
- Dave Demer reports that Leg II of the U.S. AMLR survey of the South Shetland archipelago has concluded successfully. Last year, David Demer and Adam Jenkins developed and used a small research vessel (19-foot Zodiac Mark V including a scientific echosounder, meteorological station, scientific computing system, underwater video, net and CTD sampling; funded by the U.S. AMLR Program) to obtain a spatial and temporal match between the surveyed krill and the predator observations around Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island, Antarctica. The improved small craft was not employed this year, but the bathymetric data collected last year (from the shore out to 10 nmi ) was charted and allowed the 104 m R/V Yuzhmorgeologiya to safely survey krill over much of the penguin foraging areas around the predator monitoring base at Cape Shirreff. Thus, areas previously not surveyed, but vital to the understanding of predator-prey interactions, have been made available to routine monitoring.
- Recently, Demer has been working with Mike Soule from South Africa to improve the multiple-frequency technique for accurate in-situ target strength measurements, and with Chris Wilson from the AFSC to develop instrumentation and analysis techniques to quantify radiated ship noise and associated fish behavior.
March 6, 2001
- John Butler and John Wagner returned recently from a two week cruise on the R/V Mako during Feb 5-15. This cruise was a cooperative project with CDF&G to survey essential squid spawning habitat in Southern California. Large concentrations of squid eggs were found at Catalina, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa Islands. Few or no eggs were found at Santa Rosa Island and off Malibu. Transects were made to a depth of 150 m and as shallow as 20 m. Data on the depth distribution of eggs are being analyzed from video tapes. The cruise was very successful due to the hard work of the crew of the Mako. Transects were made every day of the cruise in spite of two weather fronts with winds gusting to 80kts.
February 13, 2001
- Al Coan, John Childers and Paul Crone met with Russell Porter (Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission), Marija Vojkovich (California Department of Fish and Game), Wendy Beeghley (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) and Rhonda Haynes (Oregon Department of Fisheries) to review sampling of North Pacific albacore in 2000. Reports were presented by each of the state agencies who together collected 12,295 albacore length measurements and 254 logbooks covering over 9 million pounds of albacore landed on the U.S. West Coast. Very few problems were encountered by samplers in 2000. State samplers will be developing their budgets for sampling in Ilwaco, WA, Newport, OR, and San Pedro, CA during 2001 and will be submitting the budget by next week for NMFS funding.
- Last week Dale Squires, Sam Herrick, David Au, Sue Smith and Donna Dealy attended the HMS Plan Development Team meetings. The primary objective of the meetings was to discuss, draft and finally compile various sections of the plan to be presented to the Pacific Council in March for preliminary review and Council guidance.
- David Au prepared/presented new analyses of options for longline fisheries in the EEZ for HMS FMP. Au also began a new assessment with Christina Show of thresher and mako in the EEZ to take into consideration the disparate levels of catch and CPUE by different areas along the coast and the extreme variability.
- Ron Lynn reports that the CoastWatch Operations Manager, Ray Slanina, completed his last day on the job February 2. He is now working for SeaSpace. Lynn is reviewing applicants for Ray's replacement. Ken Bliss is undertaking the task of maintaining the CoastWatch system for the present. Lynn's ms with Steven Bograd (now at PFEL), "Dynamic evolution of the 1997-99 El Nino - La Nina in the southern California Current System," has been accepted by Progress in Oceanography.
- Beverly Macewicz met with Ms. Lori Hosaka LaPlante on February 5. Macewicz advised her on staging postovulatory follicles seen in histological slides of ovaries from tautog (Tautoga onitis) that Ms. Hosaka LaPlante had spawned in the laboratory. Macewicz also reviewed with her identification of oocyte development and oocyte atresia in histological slides of fish ovaries. Ms. Hosaka LaPlante is a student of Dr. Eric Schultz from the University of Connecticut working on her Master’s Degree.
- Dr. Doyle Hanan, formerly of CDF&G, and Professor Michael Buckingham met February 8 in a meeting arranged by Paul Smith to discuss advanced technology to use acoustic 'daylight' as a sound source to monitor large rockfish in the reef habitat.
January 30, 2001
- John Hunter reports that in the spirit of cooperation on joint research projects, CDFG has allocated 21 days on the Department’s research vessel to carry out two research projects on market squid. The first project is a study of the critical squid spawning habitat under the leadership of John Butler as Chief Scientist. The two-week cruise on the R/V Mako begins on February 1. The second project is a collection trip to obtain "virgin" female squid for estimation of their potential annual fecundity with Beverly Macewicz as the Chief Scientist and David Griffith as Cruise Leader. The cruise is planned to run the week of February 26.
- John Butler has completed a manuscript entitled "Biology and Population Dynamics of Cowcod Rockfish (Sebastes levis) off Southern California, 1916-1998." The manuscript is undergoing SWFSC review before submission to the U.S. Fishery Bulletin.
- John Hunter reported that he and Geoff Moser met with William Bennett (Bodega Bay Marine Lab), Kimy Roinestad, Jesse Schwartz, Les Kaufman (Boston University) and Burr Heneman on January 17 to discuss the data sets that are available in California that may provide time series of abundance indices for the nearshore fishes covered under the management plan being developed by CDFG. The CalCOFI series was discussed at length as it could provide a 50-year time series for some of the rocky shore species covered under the plan and none of the other fishery independent time series span as much time.
- John Hunter and Sam Herrick participated in an economics workshop on Santa Catalina Island sponsored by USC and the Wrigley Foundation. It was chaired by Linwood Pendleton (USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies). The focus of the discussion was detailed economic data on the San Pedro wetfish fleet being collected by Linwood Pendleton and Steven Lutz (USC) and future economic studies and bioeconomic modeling being undertaken by the USC group.
- Russ Vetter reports that the final version of a study to examine the population structure and the status of Puget Sound stocks of copper rockfish, considered for listing under the ESA, has been submitted to Conservation Genetics.
- Dale Squires is working on the draft of the HMS FMP. The week of February 5-9 is devoted to a HMS FMP plan development team meeting where the final draft will be developed that will be sent to the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
- Last week, Paul Smith and Geoff Moser reported that a pilot study was completed to discriminate the sardines spawned in the PanAm habitat from those spawned in the Oregonian habitat. The technique used was to compare the vertebral count of a group of 10-cm sardines captured by Mark Saunders aboard the Canadian research vessel William Ricker this month with the historical counts from San Pedro, Magdalena Bay, and the Gulf of California. The x-rays and vertebral counts were performed by David Ambrose. The data will now be used to determine how many sardines need to be evaluated to separate the stocks from the two spawning habitats.
- Nancy Lo completed a draft analysis of a survey design for the egg and larval survey off Ireland in March 2001. The major species are hake, cod, and whiting. Her analysis was based on the data collected in the egg and larval survey in April-May, 2000. Lo recommended that the 2000 survey pattern be repeated including some adaptive sampling. This work is part of a collaboration between NMFS and the Marine Institute, Ireland. Elizabeth Clarke, Office of Science and Technology, NMFS will present Nancy's work at an upcoming workshop at the end of January in Dublin, Ireland.
- Sue Smith, Dave Au, and Sam Herrick met on January 17 at the La Jolla Laboratory with commercial albacore fisherman and gillnetter Steve Fosmark (home port Moss Landing, Monterey) to discuss his concerns regarding development of the HMS FMP and to brief us on the fisheries from a fisherman's perspective. Fosmark offered some useful background information on seasonal fishing dynamics, seasonal and areal distribution of tunas, sharks and swordfishes within the U.S. EEZ, and practical aspects of gear switching among the various types of HMS gears over a fishing year.
- Dave Au prepared and presented options analyses for HMS species at the plan development team meeting held January 8-11.
- Dave Demer calibrated the EK500 aboard the NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan January 6-7 after replacing a faulty 120 kHz split-beam transceiver. The faulty transceiver had degraded a portion of the April 2000 CalCOFI acoustical survey results. Demer also helped Paul Fiedler to calibrate the EQ50 echosounder that was used during the recent PRD cruises. Calibration experiments were conducted using a new motorized, remote-control downrigger system that performed well.
- During the first week in January Demer participated in an intensive short course on multibeam sonars that was hosted by Scripps/Marine Physical Laboratory. Demer took this course in preparation for effectively using multibeam sonar systems on fisheries vessels for habitat characterization and 3-D observations of fish school distributions, abundances, and behaviors.
- The David Starr Jordan returned on Friday from the winter CalCOFI cruise with Dave Griffith, Ron Dotson, and Amy Hays (Sue Manion was on the first leg of the cruise and was replaced by Griffith). The plankton volumes were light and there were only a few eggs in the CUFES samples.
- Janet Nye, a graduate student from the University of Delaware, visited with Beverly Macewicz on January 24 and 25. Ms. Macewicz reviewed her histological slides of weakfish ovaries and advised her on identifying and staging: oocyte development, postovulatory follicles and atresia.
January 3, 2001
- Al Coan, Doug Prescott, and Dale Squires will be participating in a project to estimate fishing capacity in the Central and Western Pacific (WCP) purse seine fishery over a 10-year period. Purse seine fishing capacity from all distant-water fishing nations, including the USA, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Spain, will be evaluated. A contractor, Yongil Jeon of Central Michigan University, will contract directly with the United States Tuna Foundation to provide the estimates with data provided by the SPC, FFA, and SPTT-SWFSC, perhaps supplemented by USTF data. The project results are to be presented in Samoa in mid-March. The project will also attempt to measure growth in total factor productivity over this time period and relate the results to changes in the fishery, such as the growing reliance on fishing aggregation devices. The project grew out of efforts by Ray Clarke, POIA, and Squires who is supervising the measurement by Jeon. Coan and Prescott are providing leadership in collecting and assembling the data.
As part of this effort, Jeon, Prescott, and Squires met with Dave Burney, USTF, to discuss the project goals, objectives, and operational matters. It is anticipated that the project will be undertaken in a collaborative manner with FFA and SPC.
- The WCP capacity project is part of a larger DOS-NMFS-USTF effort to address fishing capacity in the WCP and develop capacity-oriented regulation of these fisheries. The WCP capacity management could ultimately be through the MHLC, although efforts are currently aimed at the FFA. Capacity management could come through various measures, including a limited entry or vessel quota system or a limit on fishing time. Major environmental groups are also interested in the project, with coordination and leadership by Tom Grasso and Scott Burns of WWF, and a major meeting on capacity in Monterey in February. A capacity management regime in the WCP could serve as a model for other tuna fisheries.
- Susan Smith completed a peer review of one of the chapters of Blackwell Scientific Publications book,"Sharks of the Open Ocean," and returned it to the editor. She also completed draft analyses of proposed regulatory options for the shark conservation, essential fish habitat, and harpoon fishery sections of the Impact of Alternative Actions chapter of the Highly Migratory Species FMP. Next week from Jan 8 through Jan 10, the HMS Plan Development Team and the HMS Advisory Panel will be meeting jointly at the La Jolla Lab. Afterwards, the Team will convene further work sessions on January 11 and 12 (Thursday and Friday) to continue drafting the HMS FMP.
- Dave Holts traveled to Dana Point last Tuesday to deliver a satellite tag to a charter boat. That tag was placed on a striped marlin Dec. 31 about 50 miles north of Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
- Paul Smith reports that his manuscript, "Spatial dynamics of anchovy, sardine, and hake pre-recruit stages in the California Current" has been accepted for publication in the ICES journal of Marine Science, Volume 58. It uses population parameters and oceanographic data which are now available and frames the time and space scales which need to be parameterized. His co-authors are J.K. Horne and D.C. Schneider.